Hardware or software that performs an operation without manual intervention. An automator is an umbrella term for computers and applications that emulate tasks typically performed by people.For example, online banking and deposits lessen the need for physical branches, and self-check-in at airports and hotels eliminate front desk clerks. Biometric readers forgo the need for humans to examine drivers' licenses and other ID forms, while electronic tag sensing on highways no longer requires booth attendants. Robo writers summarize the news from online articles, as well as create financial summaries from a company's data. Robo lawyers can search through a thousand times more legal cases looking for similarities than a person can, while robo advisors generate investment advice from a user's portfolio. Driverless taxis will eliminate the need for cab drivers, and unmanned cargo ships are envisioned in the future. See automation, computer ethics, biometrics, E-ZPass, robo advisor, robo lawyer and self-driving car.