The Impact of Technology on Society


Throughout history, technological innovations have shaped our world. From the invention of the wheel, which allowed humans to move around their environment, to the printing press, which reduced the physical barriers to communication, to the telephone, which made it possible for us to connect with others, technology has had a huge impact on our lives.

The evolution of technology has been a step-by-step process. Each step validates the underlying ideas and tests them against reality. Often, the resulting path is divergent and carries divergent consequences. Technology has been used for peaceful purposes, as well as for weapons of increasing destructive power.

New technologies often have deep societal ramifications, and can disrupt social hierarchies and harm individuals. Consequently, global cooperation is needed to maintain the Internet and other technological systems. There are many international organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), that help develop rules and standards for new technologies.

New technologies are often criticized for their environmental impact. Many of the supposedly systematic mechanisms for assessing the impact of new technologies are symbolic and bureaucratic. However, there are some examples of innovative structures that could help improve governance of global technologies.

The emergence of the term technology marked a shift in our view of larger-scale technological systems. The early era of technology saw a positive attitude toward technology. As the IT industry evolved, the cost of devices decreased.

Technologists often point to governments to address social issues. However, governments have little incentive to address these issues. Moreover, technology makers often perpetuate a moral slant that often disfavours others.

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