Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance. Automation or automatic control is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.
Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is first robustly defined by Jacob Bigelow in 1829 as: "...principles, processes, and nomenclatures of the more conspicuous arts, particularly those which involve applications of science, and which may be considered useful, by promoting the benefit of society, together with the emolument [compensation ] of those who pursue them" .
Incorrigible humanity, therefore, led astray by the giant Nimrod, presumed in its heart to outdo in skill not only nature but the source of its own nature, who is God; and began to build a tower in Sennaar, which afterwards was called Babel (that is, 'confusion'). By this means human beings hoped to climb up to heaven, intending in their foolishness not to equal but to excel their creator.
Dante Alighieri, De vulgari eloquentia, Chapter VII
We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster.
Carl Sagan, from interview with Anne Kalosh in her article Bringing Science Down to Earth, in Hemispheres (Oct 1994), 99. Collected and cited in Tom Head (ed.), Conversations with Carl Sagan (2006), 100.