The Roots of Our Anxiety?

How new is automation anxiety? The Industrial Revolution – at the time a mysterious and threatening phenomenon – created widespread concern about the effects of a mechanical and quantified world which haunts the works of writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blake. The construction of the idea of culture was a reaction to the rise of industrialisation. It will be argued that these historic roots are important in understanding why the automation of our culture can appear challenging.

Andrew Prescott is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow  and Theme Leader Fellow for the ‘Digital Transformations‘ strategic theme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.