The past, present, and future of it all
What is Technology? – Perhaps the most practical definition of the term comes from Emmanuel G. Mesthene’s book, Technological Change: Its Impact on Man and Society:
“We define technology as the organisation of knowledge for the achievement of practical purposes.”
Very rightly so – technology is a very vast term which is understood by everyone in their own unique way. We leverage technology to accomplish various tasks in our day-to-day lives; thus, technology can be products, processes or organizations that are used to enhance the quality of our lives. We regularly use it at work, for communication, transportation, learning, manufacturing, securing data, and so much more.
Technology as we know it today has evolved in leaps and bounds over the years – consider the evolution of connectivity. Scientists say that humans became Homo sapiens (approximately) more than 200,000 years ago. The sophisticated language that we know today is said to have emerged from shouting (to start with) in order to establish a connection with in the tribe and thus could be considered as the stepping stone of civilization.
Then came the first means of non-face-to-face and non-verbal communication with the discovery of smoke signals and later on by drums. For the first time, people were able to connect without being in physical proximity to each other and thus evolved a different mode of interaction.
Centuries later, Samuel Morse’s invention of the telegraph was a ground breaking path towards technological development in history that transformed our lives dramatically. Then, with Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in 1876 brought people even closer as they could converse together while sitting in different places thus conquering great distances. Furthermore, mobile phone technology took the world by storm and rapidly evolved to the present scenario where we cannot imagine our lives without our dear smart phones.
Finally, with the advent of the internet in 1994, there has been no looking back as it proved to be the single greatest leap in communication technology that gave us the Web, email, voice calls, and social media that have dramatically altered the way we connect with each other. We are increasingly becoming a part of a globalized society. Businesses nowadays are using technology to digitally transform themselves in order to stay competitive in the market, to create new products and services and provide timely delivery to their esteemed customers. Companies like Apple leverage superior technology to bring in new products in order to remain competitive always, in all ways.
Cut to the present world scenario, technology has been a boon to us as it has enabled us to connect with other people and gradually bridge the gap. Today, digitization is everywhere and this has allowed more access to information in less costly ways. Connectivity has become the most powerful tool in our lives today besides helping us take conscious and well-informed choices. For example, we question our doctor about the course of a treatment, thanks to our Google or Bing through which we can do extensive research about the diagnosed ailment. This is not to say that Google makes you a doctor, but it definitely helps us broaden our horizon and dig into as much information as is humanely possible!
Technology is everywhere and in all forms – there is education technology which makes the access of educational material easy for the students and helps them learn new subjects through gamification (guess it is the new form of play way method of education!). Keeping in mind the environment, teachers can adopt a paperless grading application for iPad with Markup.
Then, there is the affordable 3D printer which can help designers create advanced 3D objects. This innovative printer easily fits well on your office desk too.
There are countless ways we are dependent on technology starting from getting up in the morning till the end of our day. It would be impossible to list every single example of technology in our daily lives. Whether it’s for practical purpose like geysers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, cars, etc. or for leisure purpose like televisions, games consoles, electric massagers, or toys- all these and many more are examples of technology.
So, the whole idea of technological advancements is to make our lives faster, simpler and easier. True it is that the downside of it all is the growing instances of cybercrime, data vulnerability, hacking etc. that threatens us to give sleepless nights but whatever it is, technology is here to stay.
Then there is artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and robotics that are threatening to make humans an endangered species. In the brave new world of artificial intelligence, some generic skills will always be valued highly so as to save the human race. Some of the skills are listed below:
- Humans need to work with machines and not try to beat them
- Keep on wearing your thinking hats for the future
- Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit
Humans are the only species who can think out of the box, look at problems in unorthodox ways, and find sustainable solutions. After all, some things will never change because that essential human touch will always be needed. Thus, possess an open mind and usher in fresh ideas about how things should be and crawl out of your comfort zone to achieve a win-win situation. With a childlike curiosity and a go-getter attitude, anything is possible, even in the age of the machines!
So, let the new technologies emerge to further change and fascinate our lives– this time perhaps with auditory tweets through our hand movements or thought recognition instead of voice recognition. Technology after all is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. It is up to us to imbibe it as much as possible in our lives, put it to good use, and design it as per our needs – all these while continuing to be human and not to fall prey in the tentacles of it all.
Note that the images are taken from Google.