Automation has today penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives.

Most of us now drive cars equipped with computers that automatically engage the brakes and reduce transmission power, often so subtly we don't notice the vehicle has anticipated our tendency to over-correct.

But even without technology's help, all humans rely on cognitive automations, known as heuristics, that allow us to multitask.

These automations have made factories safer, offices more efficient, cars less accident-prone and economies more stable.

There have been more gains in the past 50 years than in two previous centuries combined, much of it made possible by automation.

Studies show errors are more likely when people are forced to toggle between automaticity and focus.

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