In the early 21st century, computing devices have become ingrained in almost every part of life in the Western world — including the pursuits of music and theatre, both of which had featured early in the development of automata. Car engines are computer-regulated to improve fuel efficiency, modern power stations and turbines feature computer control, and Jacquard Looms are now controlled electronically by computers that can scan designs and create punched cards from them.
Relation to Computing:
Walk into the Apple Store on Regent’s Street in London, and think back for a moment on what was needed to reach here. Electricity, created around the country and even abroad is routed to the shop to power the lights and displays; the computers on display are the heritage of Jacquard, Babbage, Turing and Hollerith, manufactured and sold using techniques developed or refined in the Industrial Revolution.
Standing there you might also wonder what the next years will bring us. Power, computing, manufacturing and automation together define our modern world, but what of a thousand years from now, or two thousand, or three? Will there even be a human automaton by then, a true android, that can itself reflect on the development of our modern world — and will it approve?