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Technology ("science of craft", from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''
-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''-logia''). The earliest English examples were anglicizations of the French ''wiktionary:-logie, -logie'', which was in turn inherit ...
'') is the sum of any
techniques Technique or techniques may refer to: Music * The Techniques, a Jamaican rocksteady vocal group of the 1960s *Technique (band), a British female synth pop band in the 1990s *Technique (album), ''Technique'' (album), by New Order, 1989 *Techniques ( ...
,
skill A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into Departmentalization, domain-general and domain-specific skills. ...
s,
methods
methods
, and
processes A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process, activities that pro ...
used in the production of
goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
or
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as
scientific investigation Scientific study may refer to: *Scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful ob ...

scientific investigation
. Technology can be the
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in
machines A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nanite, or nanomachine is a molecular component that produce ...

machines
to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings.
System A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal e ...

System
s (e.g. machines) applying technology by taking an
input Input may refer to: Computing * Input (computer science), the act of entering data into a computer or data processing system * Information, any data entered into a computer or data processing system * Input device * Input method * Input port (disam ...
, changing it according to the system's use, and then producing an
outcome Outcome may refer to: * Outcome (probability), the result of an experiment in probability theory * Outcome (game theory), the result of players' decisions in game theory * ''The Outcome'', a 2005 Spanish film * An outcome measure (or clinical endpo ...
are referred to as technology systems or technological systems. The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic
tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, a ...

tool
s. The
prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study ...
invention of shaped stone tools followed by the discovery of how to control fire increased sources of food. The later
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many s during the period from a lifestyle of to one of and , making an increasingly large population possible. These settled communities perm ...
extended this, and quadrupled the sustenance available from a territory. The invention of the
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the ...

wheel
helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water ...
, the
telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

telephone
, and the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
, have lessened physical barriers to
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...

communication
and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. Technology has many effects. It has helped develop more advanced
economies An economy (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 m ...

economies
(including today's
global economy Global means of or referring to a globe A globe is a spherical of , of some other , or of the . Globes serve purposes similar to s, but unlike maps, they do not distort the surface that they portray except to scale it down. A model globe of Ear ...
) and has allowed the rise of a
leisure class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the economic inequality, wealthiest members of class society, and wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the ...
. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as
pollution Pollution is the introduction of s into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or energy (such as radioactivity, heat, sound, or light). s, the components of po ...

pollution
and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's
environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...

environment
. Innovations have always influenced the
values In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy ...
of a society and raised new questions in the
ethics of technology Ethics of technology is a sub-field of ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Ph ...
. Examples include the rise of the notion of
efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do things well, successfully, and withou ...

efficiency
in terms of human
productivity Productivity is the efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do thin ...
, and the challenges of
bioethics Bioethics is the study of the ethics, ethical issues emerging from advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethics are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the r ...
. Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the
human condition The human condition is all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as par ...
or worsens it.
Neo-LuddismNeo-Luddism or new Luddism is a philosophy opposing many forms of modern technology. The term Luddite is generally used as a pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest seq ...
,
anarcho-primitivism Anarcho-primitivism is a political ideology that advocates a return to non-" civilized" ways of life through deindustrialization, abolition of the division of labor or specialization and abandonment of large-scale organization technologies. An ...
, and similar
reactionary In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such a ...
movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as
transhumanism Transhumanism is a philosophical and intellectual movement which advocates the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies able to greatly enhance longevity, mood and cognitive abilit ...
and
techno-progressivism Techno-progressivism or tech-progressivism is a stance of active support for the convergence of technological change Technological change (TC) or technological development, is the overall process of invention An invention is a unique or ...
view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition.


Definition and usage

The use of the term "technology" has changed significantly over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, and it was used either to refer to the description or study of the
useful artsUseful art, or useful arts or technics, is concerned with the skills and methods of practical subjects such as manufacture and craftsmanship. The phrase has now gone out of fashion, but it was used during the Victorian era In the history of ...
or to allude to technical education, as in the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a Private university, private Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, MIT has since played a key role in the development of modern ...
(chartered in 1861). The term "technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the
Second Industrial Revolution The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid and from the late 19th century into the early 20th century. The , which ended in the middle of the 19th century, was punctuated by a slowdow ...
. The term's meanings changed in the early 20th century when American social scientists, beginning with
Thorstein Veblen Thorstein Bunde Veblen (July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929) was a Norwegian-American economist and sociologist who, during his lifetime, emerged as a well-known critic of capitalism. In his best-known book, ''The Theory of the Leisure Class'' (1 ...
, translated ideas from the German concept of '' Technik'' into "technology." In German and other European languages, a distinction exists between ''technik'' and ''technologie'' that is absent in English, which usually translates both terms as "technology." By the 1930s, "technology" referred not only to the study of the
industrial arts Industrial arts is an educational program which features fabrication of objects in wood or metal using a variety of hand, power, or machine tools. Industrial Arts is commonly referred to as Technology Education. It may include small engine repair ...
but to the industrial arts themselves. In 1937, the American sociologist Read Bain wrote that "technology includes all tools, machines, utensils, weapons, instruments, housing, clothing, communicating and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them." Bain's definition remains common among scholars today, especially social scientists. Scientists and engineers usually prefer to define technology as
applied science Applied science is the use of the scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves caref ...
, rather than as the things that people make and use. More recently, scholars have borrowed from European philosophers of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to various forms of instrumental reason, as in
Foucault
Foucault
's work on
technologies of the self Technology ("science of craft", from Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , '' -logia'') is the sum of techniques, skill A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution ofte ...
(''techniques de soi''). Dictionaries and scholars have offered a variety of definitions. The '' Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary'' offers a definition of the term: "the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems" and "a machine, piece of equipment, method, etc., that is created by technology."
Ursula Franklin Ursula Martius Franklin (16 September 1921 – 22 July 2016) was a German-Canadian metallurgist Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metal A metal (from Ancient Gr ...
, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, gave another definition of the concept; it is "practice, the way we do things around here." The term is often used to imply a specific field of technology, or to refer to
high technology High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
or just
consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum ...
, rather than technology as a whole.
Bernard Stiegler Bernard Stiegler (; 1 April 1952 – 5 August 2020) was a French philosopher. He was head of the Institut de recherche et d'innovation (IRI), which he founded in 2006 at the Centre Georges-Pompidou. He was also the founder in 2005 of the politi ...

Bernard Stiegler
, in '' Technics and Time, 1'', defines technology in two ways: as "the pursuit of life by means other than life," and as "organized inorganic matter." Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value. In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems. It is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden
spoon A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl (also known as a head), oval or round, at the end of a handle A handle is a part of, or attachment to, an object that allows it to be grasped and manipulated by hand A hand is a pr ...

spoon
, or more complex machines, such as a
space station A space station, also known as an orbital station or an orbital space station, is a spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble S ...

space station
or
particle accelerator , a synchrotron collider type particle accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Batavia, Illinois, USA. Shut down in 2011, until 2007 it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating protons to an en ...
. Tools and machines need not be material; virtual technology, such as
computer software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a collection of instructions Music * I ...

computer software
and
business method A business process, business method or business function is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks by people or equipment in which a specific sequence produces a service or product (serves a particular business goal) for a partic ...
s, fall under this definition of technology. W. Brian Arthur defines technology in a similarly broad way as "a means to fulfill a human purpose." The word "technology" can also be used to refer to a collection of techniques. In this context, it is the current state of humanity's knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants; it includes technical methods, skills, processes, techniques, tools and raw materials. When combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space technology," it refers to the state of the respective field's knowledge and tools. "
State-of-the-art The state of the art (sometimes cutting edge or leading edge) refers to the highest level of general development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field achieved at a particular time. However, in some contexts it can also refer to a level ...
technology" refers to the
high technology High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
available to humanity in any field. Technology can be viewed as an activity that forms or changes culture. Additionally, technology is the application of mathematics, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is known. A modern example is the rise of
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...

communication
technology, which has lessened barriers to human interaction and as a result has helped spawn new subcultures; the rise of
cyberculture Internet culture, or cyberculture, is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, custom ...
has at its basis the development of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
and the
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
. As a cultural activity, technology predates both
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

science
and
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
, each of which formalize some aspects of technological endeavor. In this sense, it remains connected with artistic endeavors.


Science, engineering, and technology

The distinction between science, engineering, and technology is not always clear.
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

Science
is systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Technologies are not usually exclusively products of science, because they have to satisfy requirements such as
utility As a topic of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within thos ...

utility
,
usability Usability can be described as the capacity of a system to provide a condition for its users to perform the tasks safely, effectively, and efficiently while enjoying the experience. In software engineering Software engineering is the systematic ...

usability
, and
safety Safety is the state of being "safe", the condition of being protected from harm Harm is a moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages ...

safety
. Engineering is the
goal-orientedGoal orientation is an "individual disposition towards developing or validating one's ability in achievement settings".VandeWalle, D. (1997), Development and validation of a work domain goal orientation instrument, ''Educational and Psychological Mea ...
process of designing and making tools and systems to exploit natural phenomena for practical human means, often (but not always) using results and techniques from science. The development of technology may draw upon many fields of knowledge, including scientific, engineering,
mathematical Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
,
linguistic Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...

linguistic
, and
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems ar ...

historical
knowledge, to achieve some practical result. Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering, although technology as a human activity precedes the two fields. For example, science might study the flow of
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s in
electrical conductor In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. ...
s by using already-existing tools and knowledge. This new-found knowledge may then be used by engineers to create new tools and machines such as
semiconductor A semiconductor material has an value falling between that of a , such as metallic copper, and an , such as glass. Its falls as its temperature rises; metals behave in the opposite way. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways ...
s,
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
s, and other forms of advanced technology. In this sense, scientists and engineers may both be considered technologists; the three fields are often considered as one for the purposes of research and reference. The exact relations between science and technology, in particular, have been debated by scientists, historians, and policymakers in the late 20th century, in part because the debate can inform the funding of basic and applied science. In the immediate wake of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, for example, it was widely considered in the United States that technology was simply "applied science" and that to fund basic science was to reap technological results in due time. An articulation of this philosophy could be found explicitly in
Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush ( ; March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II, World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almo ...

Vannevar Bush
's treatise on postwar science policy, ''Science – The Endless Frontier'': "New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature ... This essential new knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research." In the late-1960s, however, this view came under direct attack, leading towards initiatives to fund science for specific tasks (initiatives resisted by the scientific community). The issue remains contentious, though most analysts resist the model that technology is a result of scientific research.


History


Paleolithic (2.5 Ma – 10 ka)

The use of tools by
early humans ''Homo'' () is the genus that emerged in the (otherwise extinct) genus '' Australopithecus'' that encompasses the extant species ''Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characte ...
was partly a process of discovery and of evolution. Early humans evolved from a
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
of
foraging Foraging is searching for wild food resources. It affects an animal's fitness because it plays an important role in an animal's ability to survive and reproduce. Foraging theory is a branch of behavioral ecology Behavioral ecology, also spel ...
hominids The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marri ...
which were already
bipedal Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion Terrestrial locomotion has evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from ...
, with a brain mass approximately one third of modern humans. Tool use remained relatively unchanged for most of early human history. Approximately 50,000 years ago, the use of tools and a complex set of behaviors emerged, believed by many archaeologists to be connected to the emergence of fully modern
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
.


Stone tools

Hominids started using primitive stone tools millions of years ago. The earliest stone tools were little more than a fractured rock, but approximately 75,000 years ago, pressure flaking provided a way to make much finer work.


Fire

The discovery and use of
fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecula ...

fire
, a simple
energy In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regula ...

energy
source with many profound uses, was a turning point in the technological evolution of humankind. The exact date of its discovery is not known; evidence of burnt animal bones at the
Cradle of Humankind The paleoanthropological site self-proclaimed as the Cradle of Humankind is located about northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With ...

Cradle of Humankind
suggests that the domestication of fire occurred before 1 Ma; scholarly consensus indicates that ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
'' had controlled fire by between 500 and 400 ka. Fire, fueled with
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. ...

wood
and
charcoal or soil, and firing it (circa 1890) Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetravalent ...

charcoal
, allowed early humans to cook their food to increase its digestibility, improving its nutrient value and broadening the number of foods that could be eaten.


Clothing and shelter

Other technological advances made during the Paleolithic era were
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long ...

clothing
and shelter; the adoption of both technologies cannot be dated exactly, but they were a key to humanity's progress. As the Paleolithic era progressed, dwellings became more sophisticated and more elaborate; as early as 380 ka, humans were constructing temporary wood huts. Clothing, adapted from the fur and hides of hunted animals, helped humanity expand into colder regions; humans began to
migrate Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum len ...
out of Africa by 200 ka and into other continents such as
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
.


Neolithic through classical antiquity (10 ka – 300 CE)

Human's technological ascent began in earnest in what is known as the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
Period ("New Stone Age"). The invention of polished
stone axe A hand axe (or handaxe) is a Prehistory, prehistoric stone tool with two faces that is the longest-used tool in human history. It is usually made from flint or chert. It is characteristic of the lower Acheulean and middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian ...

stone axe
s was a major advance that allowed
forest clearance deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

forest clearance
on a large scale to create farms. This use of polished stone axes increased greatly in the Neolithic, but were originally used in the preceding
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
in some areas such as
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
.
Agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

Agriculture
fed larger populations, and the transition to
sedentism In cultural anthropology, sedentism (sometimes called sedentariness; compare sedentarism) is the practice of living in one place for a long time. , the majority of people belong to sedentary cultures. In evolutionary anthropology and archaeolog ...
allowed simultaneously raising more children, as infants no longer needed to be carried, as
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomad
ic ones must. Additionally, children could contribute labor to the raising of crops more readily than they could to the
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
economy. With this increase in population and availability of labor came an increase in
labor specialization The division of labour is the separation of tasks in any economic system or organization, organisation so that participants may specialise (specialisation). Individuals, organisations, and nations are endowed with or acquire specialised capabiliti ...
. What triggered the progression from early Neolithic villages to the first cities, such as
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
, and the first civilizations, such as
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
, is not specifically known; however, the emergence of increasingly
hierarchical A hierarchy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy i ...

hierarchical
social structures and specialized labor, of trade and war amongst adjacent cultures, and the need for collective action to overcome environmental challenges such as
irrigation Irrigation is the agricultural Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated Domesti ...

irrigation
, are all thought to have played a role.


Metal tools

Continuing improvements led to the
furnace A furnace is a structure in which heat is produced with the help of combustion. Furnace may also refer to: Appliances Buildings * Furnace (house heating): a furnace , or a heater or boiler , used to generate heat for buildings * Boiler Poland ...
and
bellows A bellow or pair of bellows is a device constructed to furnish a strong blast of air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compo ...

bellows
and provided, for the first time, the ability to
smelt Smelt may refer to: * Smelting, chemical process *The common name of various fish ** Smelt (fish), a family of small fish, Osmeridae ** Australian smelt in the family Retropinnidae and species ''Retropinna semoni'' ** Big-scale sand smelt ''Atherin ...
and
forge A forge is a type of hearth A hearth is the place in a home where a fire is or was traditionally kept for home heating and for cooking, usually constituted by at least a horizontal hearthstone and often enclosed to varying degrees by an ...

forge
gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numb ...

gold
,
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
,
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
, and
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate h ...

lead
native metals found in relatively pure form in nature. The advantages of copper tools over stone, bone, and wooden tools were quickly apparent to early humans, and native copper was probably used from near the beginning of
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
times (about 10 ka). Native copper does not naturally occur in large amounts, but copper ores are quite common and some of them produce metal easily when burned in wood or charcoal fires. Eventually, the working of metals led to the discovery of
alloys An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts Elec ...
such as bronze and brass (about 4000 BCE). The first uses of iron alloys such as steel dates to around 1800 BCE.


Energy and transport

Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other forms of energy. The earliest known use of wind power is the sailing ship; the earliest record of a ship under sail is that of a Nile boat dating to the 8th-millennium BCE. From prehistoric times, Egyptians probably used the power of the annual flooding of the Nile to irrigate their lands, gradually learning to regulate much of it through purposely built irrigation channels and "catch" basins. The ancient
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ians in Mesopotamia used a complex system of canals and levees to divert water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for irrigation. According to archaeologists, the
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the ...

wheel
was invented around 4000 BCE probably independently and nearly simultaneously in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe. Estimates on when this may have occurred range from 5500 to 3000 BCE with most experts putting it closer to 4000 BCE. The oldest artifacts with drawings depicting wheeled carts date from about 3500 BCE; however, the wheel may have been in use for millennia before these drawings were made. More recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia. The invention of the wheel revolutionized trade and war. It did not take long to discover that wheeled wagons could be used to carry heavy loads. The ancient Sumerians used the potter's wheel and may have invented it. A stone pottery wheel found in the city-state of Ur dates to around 3429 BCE, and even older fragments of wheel-thrown pottery have been found in the same area. Fast (rotary) potters' wheels enabled early mass production of pottery, but it was the use of the wheel as a transformer of energy (through water wheels, windmills, and even treadmills) that revolutionized the application of nonhuman power sources. The first two-wheeled carts were derived from travois and were first used in Mesopotamia and Iran in around 3000 BCE. The oldest known constructed roadways are the stone-paved streets of the city-state of Ur, dating to circa 4000 BCE and timber roads leading through the swamps of Glastonbury, England, dating to around the same time period. The first long-distance road, which came into use around 3500 BCE, spanned 1,500 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, but was not paved and was only partially maintained. In around 2000 BCE, the Minoan civilization, Minoans on the Greek island of Crete built a fifty-kilometer (thirty-mile) road leading from the palace of Gortyn on the south side of the island, through the mountains, to the palace of Knossos on the north side of the island. Unlike the earlier road, the Minoan road was completely paved.


Plumbing

Ancient Minoan private homes had running water. A bathtub virtually identical to modern ones was unearthed at the Palace of Knossos. Several Minoan private homes also had toilets, which could be flushed by pouring water down the drain. The ancient Romans had many public flush toilets, which emptied into an extensive sewage system. The primary sewer in Rome was the Cloaca Maxima; construction began on it in the sixth century BCE and it is still in use today. The ancient Romans also had a complex system of aqueduct (bridge), aqueducts, which were used to transport water across long distances. The first Roman aqueduct was built in 312 BCE. The eleventh and final ancient Roman aqueduct was built in 226 CE. Put together, the Roman aqueducts extended over 450 kilometers, but less than seventy kilometers of this was above ground and supported by arches.


Medieval and modern history (300 CE – present)

Innovations continued through the Middle Ages with innovations such as silk-manufacture (introduced into Europe after centuries of development in Asia), the horse collar and horseshoes in the first few hundred years after the 5th-century fall of the Western Roman Empire, Roman Empire. Medieval technology saw the use of simple machines (such as the lever, the screw, and the pulley) being combined to form more complicated tools, such as the wheelbarrow, windmills and clocks, and a system of University, universities developed and spread scientific ideas and practices. The Renaissance technology, Renaissance era produced many innovations, including the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water ...
(which facilitated the communication of knowledge), and technology became increasingly associated with
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

science
, beginning a cycle of mutual advancement. Advances in technology in this era allowed a more reliable supply of food, followed by the wider availability of consumer goods. Starting in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was a period of great technological discovery, particularly in the areas of British Agricultural Revolution, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, metallurgy, and transport, driven by the discovery of steam power and the widespread application of the factory system. Technology took another step in a second industrial revolution ( to ) with the harnessing of electricity to allow such innovations as the electric motor, light bulb, and countless others. Scientific advances and the discovery of new concepts later allowed for aviation, powered flight and developments in medicine, chemistry, physics, and
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
. The rise in technology has led to skyscrapers and broad urban areas whose inhabitants rely on motors to transport them and their food supplies. Communication improved with the invention of the telegraph,
telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

telephone
, radio and television. The late-19th and early-20th centuries saw a revolution in transportation with the invention of the airplane and automobile. The 20th century brought a host of innovations. In physics, the discovery of nuclear fission has led to both nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Computers were invented and later miniaturization, miniaturized using transistors and integrated circuits. Information technology, particularly the optical fiber and Optical amplifier, optical amplifiers that led to the birth of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
, which ushered in the Information Age. Humans started to space exploration, explore space with satellites (late 1950s, later used for telecommunication) and in crewed missions (1960s) going all the way to the moon. In medicine, this era brought innovations such as Cardiac surgery, open-heart surgery and later stem cell treatments, stem-cell therapy along with new pharmaceutical drug, medications and treatments using genomics. Complex manufacturing and construction techniques and organizations are needed to make and maintain some of the newer technologies, and entire Industry (economics), industries have arisen to support and develop succeeding generations of increasingly more complex tools. Modern technology increasingly relies on training and education – their designers, builders, maintainers, and users often require sophisticated general and specific training. Moreover, these technologies have become so complex that entire fields have developed to support them, including
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
, medicine, and computer science; and other fields have become more complex, such as construction, transportation, and architecture.


Philosophy


Technicism

Generally, technicism is the belief in the utility of technology for improving human societies. Taken to an extreme, technicism "reflects a fundamental attitude which seeks to control reality, to resolve all problems with the use of scientific–technological methods and tools." In other words, human beings will someday be able to master all problems and possibly even control the future using technology. Some, such as Stephen V. Monsma, connect these ideas to the abdication of religion as a higher moral authority.


Optimism

Optimistic assumptions are made by proponents of ideologies such as
transhumanism Transhumanism is a philosophical and intellectual movement which advocates the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies able to greatly enhance longevity, mood and cognitive abilit ...
and singularitarianism, which view technological evolution, technological development as generally having beneficial effects for the society and the human condition. In these ideologies, technological development is morally good. Transhumanists generally believe that the point of technology is to overcome barriers, and that what we commonly refer to as the
human condition The human condition is all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as par ...
is just another barrier to be surpassed. Singularitarians believe in some sort of "accelerating change"; that the rate of technological progress accelerates as we obtain more technology, and that this will culminate in a "Technological singularity, Singularity" after artificial general intelligence is invented in which progress is nearly infinite; hence the term. Estimates for the date of this Singularity vary, but prominent futurist Ray Kurzweil estimates the Singularity will occur in 2045. Kurzweil is also known for his history of the universe in six epochs: (1) the physical/chemical epoch, (2) the life epoch, (3) the human/brain epoch, (4) the technology epoch, (5) the artificial intelligence epoch, and (6) the universal colonization epoch. Going from one epoch to the next is a Singularity in its own right, and a period of speeding up precedes it. Each epoch takes a shorter time, which means the whole history of the universe is one giant Singularity event. Some critics see these ideologies as examples of scientism and techno-utopianism and fear the notion of human enhancement and technological singularity which they support. Some have described Karl Marx as a techno-optimist.


Skepticism and critics

On the somewhat skeptical side are certain philosophers like Herbert Marcuse and John Zerzan, who believe that technological societies are inherently flawed. They suggest that the inevitable result of such a society is to become evermore technological at the cost of freedom and psychological health. Many, such as the Luddites and prominent philosopher Martin Heidegger, hold serious, although not entirely, deterministic reservations about technology (see "The Question Concerning Technology"). According to Heidegger scholars Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Spinosa, "Heidegger does not oppose technology. He hopes to reveal the essence of technology in a way that 'in no way confines us to a stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology or, what comes to the same thing, to rebel helplessly against it.' Indeed, he promises that 'when we once open ourselves expressly to the essence of technology, we find ourselves unexpectedly taken into a freeing claim.' What this entails is a more complex relationship to technology than either techno-optimists or techno-pessimists tend to allow." Some of the most poignant criticisms of technology are found in what are now considered to be dystopian literary classics such as Aldous Huxley's ''Brave New World'', Anthony Burgess's ''A Clockwork Orange (novel), A Clockwork Orange'', and George Orwell's ''Nineteen Eighty-Four''. In Goethe's Faust, Goethe's ''Faust'', Faust selling his soul to the devil in return for power over the physical world is also often interpreted as a metaphor for the adoption of industrial technology. More recently, modern works of science fiction such as those by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson and films such as ''Blade Runner'' and ''Ghost in the Shell (1995 film), Ghost in the Shell'' project highly ambivalent or cautionary attitudes toward technology's impact on human society and identity. The late cultural critic Neil Postman distinguished tool-using societies from technological societies and from what he called "technopolies," societies that are dominated by the ideology of technological and scientific progress to the exclusion or harm of other cultural practices, values, and world-views. Darin Barney has written about technology's impact on practices of citizenship and democratic culture, suggesting that technology can be construed as (1) an object of political debate, (2) a means or medium of discussion, and (3) a setting for democratic deliberation and citizenship. As a setting for democratic culture, Barney suggests that technology tends to make ethics, ethical questions, including the question of what a good life consists in, nearly impossible because they already give an answer to the question: a good life is one that includes the use of more and more technology. Nikolas Kompridis has als
written
about the dangers of new technology, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and robotics. He warns that these technologies introduce unprecedented new challenges to human beings, including the possibility of the permanent alteration of our biological nature. These concerns are shared by other philosophers, scientists and public intellectuals who have written about similar issues (e.g. Francis Fukuyama, Jürgen Habermas, Bill Joy, William Joy, and Michael Sandel). Another prominent critic of technology is Hubert Dreyfus, who has published books such as ''On the Internet'' and ''What Computers Still Can't Do''. A more infamous anti-technological treatise is ''s:Industrial Society and Its Future, Industrial Society and Its Future'', written by the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and printed in several major newspapers (and later books) as part of an effort to end his bombing campaign of the techno-industrial infrastructure. There are also subcultures that disapprove of some or most technology, such as self-identified off-gridders.


Appropriate technology

The notion of appropriate technology was developed in the 20th century by thinkers such as E.F. Schumacher and Jacques Ellul to describe situations where it was not desirable to use very new technologies or those that required access to some centralized infrastructure or parts or skills imported from elsewhere. The ecovillage movement emerged in part due to this concern.


Optimism and skepticism in the 21st century

''This section mainly focuses on American concerns even if it can reasonably be generalized to other Western countries. '' In his article, Jared Bernstein, a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, questions the widespread idea that automation, and more broadly, technological advances, have mainly contributed to this growing labor market problem. His thesis appears to be a third way between optimism and skepticism. Essentially, he stands for a neutral approach of the linkage between technology and American issues concerning unemployment and declining wages. He uses two main arguments to defend his point. First, because of recent technological advances, an increasing number of workers are losing their jobs. Yet, scientific evidence fails to clearly demonstrate that technology has displaced so many workers that it has created more problems than it has solved. Indeed, automation threatens repetitive jobs but higher-end jobs are still necessary because they complement technology and manual jobs that "requires flexibility judgment and common sense" remain hard to replace with machines. Second, studies have not shown clear links between recent technology advances and the wage trends of the last decades. Therefore, according to Bernstein, instead of focusing on technology and its hypothetical influences on current American increasing unemployment and declining wages, one needs to worry more about "bad policy that fails to offset the imbalances in demand, trade, income, and opportunity."


Complex technological systems

Thomas P. Hughes stated that because technology has been considered as a key way to solve problems, we need to be aware of its complex and varied characters to use it more efficiently. What is the difference between a
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the ...

wheel
or a compass and cooking machines such as an oven or a gas stove? Can we consider all of them, only a part of them, or none of them as technologies? Technology is often considered too narrowly; according to Hughes, "Technology is a creative process involving human ingenuity".Hughes, Thomas P. (2004) "Introduction: Complex Technology" (1–11) in "Human-Built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture" This definition's emphasis on creativity avoids unbounded definitions that may mistakenly include cooking "technologies," but it also highlights the prominent role of humans and therefore their responsibilities for the use of complex technological systems. Yet, because technology is everywhere and has dramatically changed landscapes and societies, Hughes argues that engineers, scientists, and Management, managers have often believed that they can use technology to shape the world as they want. They have often supposed that technology is easily controllable and this assumption has to be thoroughly questioned. For instance, Evgeny Morozov particularly challenges two concepts: "Internet-centrism" and "solutionism." Internet-centrism refers to the idea that our society is convinced that the Internet is one of the most stable and coherent forces. Solutionism is the ideology that every social issue can be solved thanks to technology and especially thanks to the internet. In fact, technology intrinsically contains uncertainties and limitations. According to Alexis Madrigal's review of Morozov's theory, to ignore it will lead to "unexpected consequences that could eventually cause more damage than the problems they seek to address." Benjamin R. Cohen and Gwen Ottinger also discussed the multivalent effects of technology. Therefore, recognition of the limitations of technology, and more broadly, scientific knowledge, is needed – especially in cases dealing with environmental justice and health issues. Ottinger continues this reasoning and argues that the ongoing recognition of the limitations of scientific knowledge goes hand in hand with scientists and engineers’ new comprehension of their role. Such an approach of technology and science "[require] technical professionals to conceive of their roles in the process differently. [They have to consider themselves as] collaborators in research and problem solving rather than simply providers of information and technical solutions."


Other animal species

The use of basic technology is also a feature of other animal species apart from humans. These include primates such as Common chimpanzee, chimpanzees, some dolphin communities, and crows. Considering a more generic perspective of technology as ethology of active environmental conditioning and control, we can also refer to animal examples such as beavers and their dams, or bees and their honeycombs. The ability to make and use tools was once considered a defining characteristic of the genus Homo (genus), Homo. However, the discovery of tool construction among chimpanzees and related primates has discarded the notion of the use of technology as unique to humans. For example, researchers have observed wild chimpanzees using tools for foraging: some of the tools used include leaf sponges, termite fishing probes, pestles and levers. West African chimpanzees also use stone hammers and anvils for cracking nuts, as do capuchin monkeys of Boa Vista, Roraima, Boa Vista, Brazil.


Future technology

Theories of technology often attempt to predict the future of technology based on the
high technology High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
and science of the time. As with all predictions of the future, however, technology is uncertain. In 2005, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that the future of technology would mainly consist of an overlapping "GNR Revolution" of genetics, nanotechnology and robotics, with robotics being the most important of the three. This future revolution has been explored in films, novels, and video games, which have predicted the creation of many inventions, as well as foreseeing future events. Such inventions and events include a government-controlled simulation that resulted from massive robotics advancements, (The Matrix), a society that has rid itself of procreation due to improvements in genetic engineering (Brave New World), and a police state enforced by the government using datamining, nanobots, and drones (Watch Dogs). Humans have already made some of the first steps toward achieving the GNR revolution. Recent discoveries and ingenuity has allowed us to create robotics in the form of Artificial Intelligence, as well as in the physical form of robots. Artificial intelligence has been used for a variety of purposes, including personal assistants in a smart phone, the first of which was Siri, released in the iPhone 4s in 2011 by Apple. Some believe that the future of robotics will involve a 'greater than human non-biological intelligence.' This concept can be compared to that of a 'rogue AI,' an Artificial Intelligence that has gained self-awareness, and tries to eradicate humanity. Others believe that the future will involve AI servants creating an easy and effortless life for humankind, where robots have become the primary work force. This future shares many similarities with the concept of planned obsolescence, however, planned obsolescence is seen as a "sinister business strategy.' Man-controlled robots such as drones have been developed to carry out tasks such as bomb defusal and space exploration. Universities such as Harvard are working towards the invention of autonomous robots to be used in situations that would aid humans, such as surgery robots, search and rescue robots, and physical therapy robots. Genetics have also been explored, with humans understanding genetic engineering to a certain degree. However, gene editing is widely divisive, and usually involves some degree of eugenics. Some have speculated the future of human engineering to include 'super humans,' humans who have been genetically engineered to be faster, stronger, and more survivable than current humans. Others think that genetic engineering will be used to make humans more resistant or completely immune to some diseases. Some even suggest that 'cloning,' the process of creating an exact copy of a human, may be possible through genetic engineering. Some believe that within the next 10 years, humans will discover nanobot technology, while others believe that we are centuries away from its invention. It is believed by futurists that nanobot technology will allow humans to 'manipulate matter at the molecular and atomic scale.' This discovery could pave the way for many scientific and medical advancements, such as curing new diseases, or inventing new, more efficient technology. It is also believed that nanobots could be injected or otherwise inserted inside the human body, and replace certain parts, keeping humans healthy for an incredibly long amount of time, or combating organ failure to a degree. The 'GNR revolution,' would bring a new age of technology and advancement for humanity like none that has been seen before.


See also


References


Further reading

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