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Perhaps no single aspect of the digital revolution has received more attention than the effect of automaton on jobs, work, employment and incomes. There is at least one very good reason for that — but it is probably not the one most people would cite.

Using machines to augment productivity is nothing new. Insofar as any tool is a machine, humans have been doing it for most of our short history on this planet. But, since the first Industrial Revolution — when steam power and mechanization produced a huge, sustained increased in productivity — this process has gone into overdrive.

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