Energy & Green Tech

Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power

The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology. But one question has never ...

Energy & Green Tech

NREL identifies where new solar technologies can be flexible

Rigid silicon solar panels dominate the utility and residential markets, but opportunity exists for thin-film photovoltaic and emerging technologies notable for being lightweight and flexible, according to scientists at the ...

Machine Learning & AI

How to teach AI to speak Welsh (and other minority languages)

Pioneering smart home technologies and voice assistants don't, as a rule, speak Welsh – although the Welsh government now aims to change that through their Welsh Language Technology Action Plan. But is their aim feasible, ...

Energy & Green Tech

Hydrogen car prototype

Researchers at the Institute of Chemical Technology and collaborators have successfully developed and tested a scale car prototype that stores and generates hydrogen safely and is capable of using it as fuel.

Internet

Even tech execs fret about their kids' smartphone addictions

Like a lot of parents, Mike Herrick occasionally sees his 13-year-old daughter getting lost in her smartphone and wonders: Is technology messing with children's brains, even as it enlightens and empowers them in ways that ...

Computer Sciences

Brain-inspired algorithm helps AI systems multitask and remember

Behind most of today's artificial intelligence technologies, from self-driving cars to facial recognition and virtual assistants, lie artificial neural networks. Though based loosely on the way neurons communicate in the ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Eating with your eyes: Virtual reality can alter taste

Humans not only relish the sweet, savory and saltiness of foods, but they are influenced by the environment in which they eat. Cornell University food scientists used virtual reality to show how people's perception of real ...

Energy & Green Tech

Light multiplication for stable improvement of solar cells

Now that solar cells based on silicon technology have nearly reached their efficiency limits, researchers from all over the world are looking for alternative technologies to further improve solar cell efficiency. Physicists ...

Computer Sciences

Deepfakes: What fairies and aliens can teach us about fake videos

"Deepfake" is the name being given to videos created through artificially intelligent deep learning techniques. Also referred to as "face-swapping", the process involves inputting a source video of a person into a computer, ...

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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