What Is Technology?

Technology is a complex term that encompasses many different aspects of human culture, such as tools, weapons, arts and crafts, and methods of transport. It also refers to the ways a society organizes itself to function and develop its economic structures, such as banking, business management, and production.

A key aspect of technology is the ability to increase productivity and reduce the costs of operations. This is achieved by using technology to automate tasks and reduce manual labor. In addition, technological resources help organizations to make more informed decisions based on data.

Historically, new technologies have often created unexpected side effects. The introduction of gunpowder and later nuclear explosives has altered the way war is waged. Modern medicine uses electrical devices like pacemakers to regulate the hearts of patients. These and other innovations have had both positive and negative effects on human society.

Almost always, the development of a technology involves incremental steps. Scientists first research and experiment with a technology, then apply it in small doses. Each step validates the underlying ideas and tests the technology against reality. In many cases, apparently promising early technologies stall midway through their development. The process is time-consuming and frustrating, but it allows scientists to fine-tune the technology and eventually bring it to market. In the late 1900s, scientists discovered that they could fit all the parts that make electronic products work onto a single chip called an integrated circuit. This allowed them to produce much smaller products, such as mobile phones and digital cameras.