Technology is the collective term for a variety of things, including machines, apparatus, processes, information systems, and other things of a like kind. Technological change is a constant in all the changes that take place in technology. Technological change occurs for the better, sometimes substantially. The pace of technological change is usually dictated by the needs of society. Technology is used to describe any system of action which aids the efficiency of human activities in achieving their goals and purposes.
Some examples of technological objects are computer systems, electrical appliances, airplanes, trains, digital and optical technology, cellular phones, and more. Technological progress can be measured using different terms. A great deal of technological advancement has been made in all of these items since their inception. A definition of technology is a system of processes, machines, and humans which yields the results equivalent to the actions of a human being. Technological change is very broad. There are some technological objects and processes that change over time for the better and other changes that occur for the worse.
Many people confuse technology with technology. In fact, the two words are not interchangeable. Technological change happens when man develops new techniques or makes technological objects, but technology refers to those objects, which are developed, used, and maintained by a person or an organization. For instance, a person can become knowledgeable about a particular type of software by studying it and learning how to use it rather than the more common means of learning such as reading it on a book or watching it on a video.
The term technology was first used in reference to the study of technology in its more abstract form, to distinguish it from applied science, politics, and engineering, and to emphasize the intellectual property associated with it. It was first used in a broader sense to define any progressive development that contributed to modern technology, in combination with other intellectual properties. The first modern usage of the term technology was in 1855, with the publication of Jean Rappau’s text, Manif poursu, a sort of aphorism on how technology could be developed by means of scientific methods. Since then it has become widely used, although its meaning has greatly expanded since then.
In his influential book, The Demands of the Search, twentieth century French philosopher, Albert Camus, used the term technology to refer to the progress made by man in mastering the forces of motion and matter, and to be expressed in human terms. This gave the term a much wider meaning than had been attached to it previously. After World War II, the work of German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, also utilized the concept of technology to express a larger trend within the European philosophy. Using the term in this way gave it a much broader appeal.
In twentieth century American English, technology was commonly used to describe the development of new technical innovations, machines, and scientific methods for a variety of purposes. Two of the more popular nineteenth century American commentators, George Knowles and Henry Adams, used the term technology in order to highlight developments which occurred throughout the century, particularly in the fields of electronics and social science. William Gates used the term to describe some of the opportunities available through computer science and to point out some of the difficulties encountered when using computers. British writer, W.B.D. Eliot, used the term to express his conviction that progress towards a higher level of understanding is possible, and that people must fight to achieve that.