Technology has had a huge influence on the world we live in. It has changed the way we write, compute, bank, operate businesses, conduct research and communicate with one another.
It has facilitated the democratisation of information, giving everyone access to knowledge that was previously only available in physical books and in-person classrooms. It has also helped people do their job more efficiently, reducing error and saving time.
The main purpose of Technology is to improve the quality of life for humans. It has contributed to many advances in society: agriculture, medicine and health care, electronics, construction, education, transport.
Most technological innovations spread or disappear on the basis of free-market forces, as people and businesses respond to them. But occasionally, technology becomes a subject of public debate and regulation.
Technology is an interdisciplinary field that covers the use of knowledge and resources to design, build, maintain and use tools and systems. It involves a complex set of activities and organizations, and its designers, builders and maintainers usually need sophisticated general and specific training.
A fundamental difference between science and technology is that the former concentrates on necessity and universality; the latter on contingencies, constraints, and specificities.
When designing or constructing technologies, the technologist must constantly consider how to route people’s finite energy and attention toward a determined end. This process often requires prioritizing some routes or ends above others, as technology is prone to doing.
This makes it important to understand how and why a given technology was chosen over others in the first place. The underlying choices are influenced by a variety of factors, including social and economic factors.