An inquiry in the economic agency of technological automata and automation from Babbage’s Analytical Engine to the recent High-Frequency Trading algorithms. The course investigates two main (economic) notions of automaton: first, the model of a centralised axis of control from post-WWII cybernetics to Google’s planetary infrastructure of computation; second, more generally, the idea of automaton as a recursive replacement of previous divisions of manual and mental labour, looking also at the colonial history of modern automata (e.g. Mechanical Turk) and their present counterparts (e.g. Amazon Mechanical Turk).
Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli