What Is Technology?


Technology is the creative application of knowledge to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. The term can also refer to a tool or machine used for carrying out a task, and in the broadest sense includes both tangible devices such as utensils and machines, and intangible technologies like software and computer systems.

From the very first stone tools to the modern workplace where a job that once took days to complete can now be done efficiently in just seconds, technology has transformed our world for the better. It’s now possible to do more with less, but the rapid advancements in technology have also created a whole host of new challenges for the future.

In terms of how we interact with technology, it’s important to note that there are two sharply diverging traditions in the way we talk about it. The first focuses on the use of the term in its ‘instrumental’ form: as a designed, material means to an end (such as the ‘Stone Age’).

This tends to be associated with a narrow understanding of what can be considered as technology and tends to exclude things like food technology, which is all about the process of producing a particular foodstuff from raw materials. The other, and more common approach is to consider technology as a more ‘evolving’ concept that encompasses all of the changes that occur to our technological tools, processes and products over time. This can include the seemingly incremental but significant improvements made to a product over time, for example, upgrades to operating systems and releases of security patches.