Machine Learning & AI

How AI could help you learn sign language

Sign languages aren't easy to learn and are even harder to teach. They use not just hand gestures but also mouthings, facial expressions and body posture to communicate meaning. This complexity means professional teaching ...

Energy & Green Tech

Breaking barriers in solar energy

Stop for a moment and imagine an efficient highway system. No need to jockey for position, no choke-point merging from three lanes into one, no long idles at ill-timed traffic lights, no rolling roadblocks as the motorist ...

Energy & Green Tech

GoSun woos outdoor cooks with Fusion's solar power

Many organizations are striving to create fewer emissions or less pollution in their products. It was always likely that CES 2019 would reflect the times and that companies launching environmentally friendly products would ...

Energy & Green Tech

When lithium-ion batteries are placed on best behavior

Amionx, the California company has won headlines for its explosion-free battery technology; the company expects to license its advance for use in commercial products by the end of 2019.

Other

Best of Last Year—The top Tech Xplore articles of 2018

It was a great year for technological innovation as a team at MIT announced that they had flown the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of turbines, propellers or even fans, the new plane was powered by an "ionic ...

Energy & Green Tech

'Sun in a box' would store renewable energy for the grid

MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand. The system may be designed to power a ...

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Technology

Technology is a broad concept that deals with an animal species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects an animal species' ability to control and adapt to its environment. Technology is a term with origins in the Greek "technologia", "τεχνολογία" — "techne", "τέχνη" ("craft") and "logia", "λογία" ("saying"). However, a strict definition is elusive; "technology" can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include "construction technology", "medical technology", or "state-of-the-art technology".

The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical discovery of the ability to control fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons.

Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as pollution, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the Earth and its environment. Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA