Technology — Explanation and definition of technology

Original article was published by Enjoy Reading on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Technology — Explanation and definition of technology

Technology is the set of knowledge, skills, experience and techniques through which humans change, transform and use our environment in order to create tools, machines, products and services that meet our needs and desires. Etymologically the word comes from the Greek tekne (technical, art, skill) and logos (knowledge)

The origin of the technology dates back to the Stone Age, when our ancestors discovered the existence in nature of a series of stone (silex, quartz, obsidian ….) extremely hard which could mold and sharpen it, this discovery with experience developed to sharpen allowed them to make the first knives, axes and cutting tools which facilitated the work of hunting in order to ensure a daily food ration.

In the previous example we have seen humans transformed his surroundings selecting a stone and modifying it to create a tool by his skill and knowledge, allowing hunt animals more quickly and effectively.

All objects around us in our daily lives are products of different technological advances that have developed over the centuries of our existence, we have transformed natural resources to make tools and machines that make our lives more easy, satisfy our curiosity an desire to excel. Computers, tablets and smartphones, locomotives, cars and airplanes, the bulb and the microchip, the first man on the Moon and conquer of the space are milestones of our latest technology.

Technology classification

Technology not only provides objects or material goods such as knives, computers or spacecraft, also includes all those methodologies and intangible goods which satisfy our needs and desires, so we can classify the technology into 2 groups:

  • Hard technologies — are those that give us tangible goods.
  • Soft technologies — are those that give us intangibles.

Organizational methods such as lean manufacturing, developing and selling business strategies, financial accounting systems, creation and development of software, coaching … are examples of soft technologies.

Usually the soft technologies are related to economy, management and administration, sociology… while hard technologies are related to the field of physics and chemistry.

There are other ways to classify and identify existing technologies, classifications as:

  • Flexible Technology — encompasses the set of technologies that can be used in many application areas, the microchip is used in multiple products like televisions, telephones, computers, machines … and in multiple applications such as medicine, space research …
  • Fixed Technology — encompasses the whole of technology can only be used for a product or specific area, such as fungicides are products that are only used for the removal of bacteria, fungi, virus and molds.

Effects of technology

There is no doubt that technological advances have radically changed our way of thinking, being and living as well as the surrounding environment. We have excavated large areas of land for searching and extraction of metals and minerals that allow us to manufacture machines and tools, we have cut numerous extensions of trees in order to obtain wood, we synthesized chemical compounds in the laboratory which have interacted and changed our environment, use combustion products that emit CO2 into our atmosphere, our daily activity generates a lot of waste … problems such as deforestation, climate change, acid and radioactive rain and the hole in the ozone layer surrounds our planet Earth has its origin in the various technologies developed and used by humans.

Technology has changed the concept of war and the battlefield allowing us to create machines and increasingly lethal weapons such as bombs. Only between World War I and II died more than three people than all the wars that occurred during the previous 2.000 years.

Therefore humans are developing technologies more clean and respectful of our environment and ourselves.

But all is not bad but on the contrary, thanks to technology our hope and quality of life has greatly increased thanks to the technical and scientific advances we are able to detect and cure diseases that previously were fatal, have created a society where any person has access to knowledge through internet, thanks to technology we generate, store and distribute any type of food, clothing and products that improve our level and quality of life, technology has created machines that perform arduous, dangerous work and requiring a great effort for man, thanks to technology we can communicate with anyone in the world, have conquered the moon and soon the space.