Ever since the beginnings of the Enlightenment, the importance of automatons, mechanization, and algorithmic methods has steadily increased. While the first automatons were built with the intention to imitate life in one way or another, it was the second generation that played a major part in the industrial revolution: Instead of imitating life, they begin to replace it by taking over tasks which were previously carried out by human workers. With the second industrial revolution, mechanization becomes technology and previously unconnected individual machines become integrated in a larger socio-technical context consisting of a net of interwoven actions by humans and machines.

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