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The Evolution of Technology

Technology can be defined as the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life or, as it is sometimes phrased, to the change and manipulation of the human environment. . As humans have progressed, so has technology. This has now paved the way for modern advancements in science, healthcare and engineering among other elements. Earliest forms of technology date back to pre-historical periods (over 3 million years ago) where man constructed stone tools which could be used for cutting, chopping or scraping. Fast forward to the 1760s, the start of what is known as the “Industrial Revolution” which was the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing.

These technological changes introduced novel ways of working and living and fundamentally transformed society. One major technological change from this time period was the rise of the steam engine. By the 1800s, steam engines were powering mills, factories, breweries and a host of other manufacturing operations. Additionally, by 1822, Charles Babbage also known as “the Father of Computing” designed three computers but never constructed them due to lack of funding. Many sources argue that it was Alan Turing who developed the first computer in 1943 as his invention was a fully programmable, electronic, digital computer, developed to aid British code breakers in decrypting German radio telegraphic traffic.

One of the most popular derived technologies that is presently used on a daily basis is the Internet. The first practical schematics for the internet would not arrive until the early 1960s, when MIT’s J.C.R. Licklider popularized the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists developed the concept of “packet switching,” a method for effectively transmitting electronic data that would later become one of the major building blocks of the internet. The web helped popularize the internet among the public, and served as a crucial step in developing the vast trove of information that most of us now access on a daily basis. Other derived technologies including microprocessors, computers, digital cell phones, smartphones, drones, 3D printing, virtual reality electronic cars, facial recognition devices, smart refrigerators and the Internet have all been developed by the 21st century. The evolution of technology is truly nothing short of remarkable and society has come a long way due to astonishing modern achievements.

By Kai-Akacia Mair


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