Technology is the study of the creative application of knowledge. It involves the development of products, services, and processes. It is an increasingly important part of daily life. Whether we realize it or not, it is shaping our world. Its effects are both positive and negative.
Often, technological innovations are the result of discoveries made in science. However, these discoveries are only a small component of a much larger and complex social enterprise.
Technological innovation is influenced by social forces, such as economic competition, consumer acceptance, and patent laws. These factors can directly affect governments’ policies, and indirectly influence policymaking through the adoption of technologies.
A major challenge is determining how to effectively regulate technology. This requires careful consideration of the costs and benefits of the proposed new technology, and a balance of restricting and mitigating those costs and benefits.
For example, a proposed new technology may pose risks to the environment and other species, and it will likely cost to develop and operate. These costs are borne by the people other than the beneficiaries of the proposed technology.
The social impacts of technology can be difficult to predict. As technologies become more complex, the relationships between them are also more complicated. A simple example of this is the increasing importance of communication. It is used to exchange ideas and information, to convey emotions, and to facilitate the flow of business data.
It is also the basis of a culture. For example, in prehistoric times, it was the ability to shape tools that was the first evidence of human culture.