Technology encompasses all tools used for human purposes, from the earliest prehistoric devices that converted natural resources into simple utensils to modern computers and communication systems. It can also refer to the applications of knowledge for practical aims, ranging from the creation of new materials and food crops to social engineering and the control of the environment.
Technological advancements have transformed the way we live by providing a plethora of benefits like comfort, convenience, and medical progress but can also lead to economic disparities, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power. Moreover, many complex technologies require significant investments in education and training for their design, building, operation, maintenance, and repair. This is why it’s a challenge to develop them without considering the wider context in which they will be used.
Information technology (IT) includes all hardware and software that enables computers to function efficiently. It can be categorized further into different types such as audio and visual technology, which include things like cameras, projectors, and microphones that capture sound and images for display. It also includes IT services that help companies resolve issues and streamline processes.
When designing technology, it must prioritize certain routes and ends over others. This can make other pathways obsolete, for instance, as digital camera technology overtook analogue photography pathways and associated behaviors of inefficient but gratifying darkroom processes. Ultimately, it’s up to humans to decide what is worth prioritizing and what isn’t.