One of Manovich's five principles of new media, automation, allows human intentionality to be removed from the creative process. According to Manovich "the creative energy of the author goes into the selection and sequencing of elements rather than the original design" (130).
When human intentionality is removed from the creative process, in many cases it raises questions about authenticity. It also made me think about what scenarios it may be inappropriate for a computer to replace human activities.
Working at a radio station I have learned the ins and outs of broadcasting, and how the engineering staff programs radio content 24/7, when most of the staff works normal business hours.
Many of the programs are recorded, stored in a playlist by a computer, and aired as if they were live. Even during the live programs, automation allows the DJs to go on air for a couple of minutes, press a button that will play a set of 3-4 songs, leave the studio and then come back when the songs are over. I find that this is damaging to the creative process of the DJs. If they were actually in the booth loading in the CDs or cueing up the records, and listening to the songs, they might be inspired to share some interesting information about the music with the listening audience. After all, that is the reason that they are DJs in the first place. They are expected to be music lovers, experts, and critics. However, in actuality, a computer is choosing the music and playing the music.
Another issue is that there is not always a human being around to make sure that the computers are working properly. There have been instances when the station has been knocked off the air in the middle of the night with no one around to fix the problem.
Automation makes operating a radio station much easier and costs a lot less than employing 24/7 staff. In fact, automation can allow for hours and hours of radio content without a Disc Jockey. However, I really hope that radio stations continue to employ music loving people who have valuable information about music that they can share with thousands of people. I think taking the human element out of broadcasting would drastically change the experience of listening to the radio, and it definitely be a negative change.