Technology is an umbrella term for the tools, machines and systems that may be used to solve real-world problems. It includes both tangible tools, like a hammer or a computer, and intangible tools, such as business methods or software. In this broad sense, technology also encompasses the scientific understanding of how things work.
It can enhance human productivity, improve decision-making and foster innovation. But it can also disrupt existing social hierarchies, harm individuals and groups, and contribute to environmental degradation. Therefore, a thoughtful and well-considered approach to technology is necessary.
In the past, technologies developed out of a combination of personal experience with the properties of objects and the techniques for manipulating them, and out of the know-how handed down by masters to apprentices over generations. Nowadays, it is increasingly important that science provides the underpinning knowledge for technology.
Every engineering design operates within constraints that must be identified and taken into account: economic (only so much money is available for this purpose), political (regulatory requirements or public opposition), ecological (likely disruption of the natural environment), and ethical (disadvantages to some people or risk to future generations). An optimum design strikes a reasonable compromise among these factors.
Unlike manual labor that requires limited energy and time, digital technology allows production to be multiplied multiple times as the work is performed by the machine instead of humans. This helps to improve the economy of a country as more products can be produced in less time and at a lower cost.