Relations between humans and machines have become rather fraught. A growing number of anxieties crystallize around the use of robots and automation in various industries, not to mention our homes. Things were quite different in the late 19th century, when the introduction of the first machines was expected to relieve people from toiling away for long hours in exhausting circumstances. Families in particular reaped the benefits from time-saving appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers, and microwaves gradually became mass-market consumer goods throughout the 20th century. Nowadays, we worry about robots taking our jobs and becoming smarter than us. But whether we…
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