Technology is the application of scientific knowledge to solve human problems and change the environment. It includes all devices that facilitate the production, processing, and dissemination of information or goods and services.
Modern technologies are complex systems, requiring highly trained designers, builders, and operators. They often involve large scale manufacturing, construction, and distribution networks. These systems may include computer hardware, software, networks, and other infrastructure components.
Technological advances have had a profound impact on human society from the invention of stone tools through to the Internet. They can improve our lives, increase prosperity and comfort, but they can also disrupt social hierarchies, cause pollution, and harm individuals or groups. As a result, they have become a source of ongoing philosophical and ethical debate.
The evolution of technology involves the conversion of natural resources into tools that help people survive and thrive. This is usually done through a step-by-step process that allows researchers to validate their ideas, gain a better understanding of the problem they are trying to address and test the technology against reality. As a result, it is rare for a new scientific discovery to be immediately usable as a technology and, in fact, many seemingly promising technologies have stalled midway through their development.
Technology is a key driver of productivity. It helps reduce time spent on routine tasks and increases the capacity of humans to work efficiently. For example, technology enables us to order food from a restaurant without leaving home, book a flight and hotel across the globe in a few seconds using an app on our phone, or quickly communicate with friends and family from anywhere in the world through video calls.