Technology is a broad term that can be used to describe tools and machines that may help solve real-world problems. This can include both tangible tools, such as utensils and machines, or non-tangible ones, like software and business processes.
The word technology may also be used to describe the way people use these tools and machines to accomplish a task or achieve a goal. For example, the invention of a wheel and axle allowed humans to travel long distances, and the printing press and telephone lessened the physical barriers between people.
A common definition of technology is the scientific application of knowledge for practical purposes. This includes both the use of tools and the creation of new products, such as medicines and weapons. However, the process by which people discover and develop these technologies is also considered to be technology.
Technology improves the human environment and helps people solve problems. Early technological advances, such as the discovery of fire and stone tools, helped early humans survive and thrive. More recent technological innovations, such as the internet and mobile phones, have made communication easier and quicker. These technologies have also improved the quality of life for people around the world.
Modern technology is a complex mixture of many different disciplines. Many technological breakthroughs are the result of collaboration between scientists and engineers from different fields, such as computer science, electrical engineering, and biology. This collaboration between disciplines is known as the interdisciplinary research and development, or IR&D, field.
Scientists and engineers must consider the possible side effects of any new technology they create. These questions can include what resources are needed to build and operate the technology, how these costs will change over time, and what effect the technology might have on the environment and other living things. Scientists and engineers also have a responsibility to communicate the results of their work to the public in ways that are accessible and understandable.
The use of new and emerging technologies is vital for businesses. For example, companies in the smartphone industry rely on advanced current technology to stay competitive and provide their customers with innovative products. These technologies can include IoT-driven museums, virtual reality and augmented reality, and more.
Technology is a powerful force that can be used for good or bad. As we learn more about how technology works, we can better predict its effects on the human race and our planet. This knowledge can help us make wiser choices about what technologies to develop and how to use them.
Arthur suggests that we should think of technology as a combinatorial process rather than a linear progression. For example, a jet engine is built from a number of smaller technologies that themselves are made from other smaller technologies. In this way, each new technology builds upon the previous one in a fractal way. This approach also applies to institutions, which are themselves technologies that evolve in a similar way to technology.