Technology is the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. It increases the utility of products and services and contributes to value creation. It affects everybody in some way or the other and makes life simpler and convenient.
Throughout history people have developed tools and systems for using natural resources, traveling, and communicating with each other. Some of the earliest examples of technology include hunting and gathering, stone tools, fire, and writing. In addition to increasing the productivity and efficiency of human work, modern technology can enhance the quality of living by providing new forms of entertainment and by making information more accessible and understandable. However, if not used correctly, technology can also lead to unemployment and poverty.
One of the biggest impacts that technology has had is in business and commerce. Businesses now use software, automation, and other technology to increase profits and improve customer service. They can also save on costs by using the latest technology to create and market products.
Arthur says that a large part of what makes technology “combinatorial” is the fact that every design has constraints: physical (limited materials, thermal conductivity, et cetera), economic (budget, time, and energy), social (privacy, security, public opposition), ecological (likely disruption of the natural environment) and ethical (disadvantages to some groups, risk to future generations). An optimum engineering design finds an acceptable compromise among all these constraints.
Technology has helped to create new products and improve existing ones, including computers, mobile phones, cars, and aircraft. It has also enabled the development of the Internet and other global communication and information networks. It has even made it possible to edit digital media such as photographs, audio, and video, creating a wide variety of applications that have changed the world.