The computer, just like the typewriter, can be used to produce automatic writing and automatic poetry. The surrealist practice of automatic drawing, originally performed with pencil or pen and paper, has also been adapted to mouse and monitor, and other automatic methods have also been either adapted from non-digital media, or invented specifically for the computer.

The surrealist Pierre Petiot has argued (in "Surrealism and the Machine") that the speed the graphical tools of computer periphery permit "allow an almost permanent connection with the roots of automatism". (However, this may be open to criticism on the grounds that mouses, or some individual, makes, or brands of mouses, are not as responsive to the automatic motion of the hand, as are regular drawing implements.)

Computer-controlled brushes have been used to simulate automatism.