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22 Advantages of Technology
John Spacey, December 22, 2019 updated on April 24, 2023
Technology advantages are gains that are enjoyed by a society, community, organization or individual by using technology. Technology is the application of science and engineering to create value such as products, services, buildings and infrastructure. This is a basic characteristic of human civilization that is a persistent feature of history. The following are illustrative examples of advantages that can be ascribed to modern technology.
ProductivityProductivity is the amount of value that you create in an hour, month or year of work. For example, a farmer who creates enough food to feed thousands of people because she uses large scale machinery such as a combine harvester.
EfficiencyEfficiency is the effective use of resources to produce value. Modern technology is often extremely efficient. For example, the luminous efficacy of a candle is around 0.04% while the luminous efficacy of an LED light bulb can exceed 25% such that they are around 625× more efficient at producing light from energy.
PricesTechnology can reduce the prices of things due to productivity and efficiency.
ScaleTechnology allows products and services to be produced at great scale to provide goods for large populations. For example, a factory that washes and packages 200,000 pounds of fruit a day with automation and a few dozen workers. It would likely be difficult to support the current quality of life of populous nations without using technology.
Risk ManagementTechnology can create a number of risks and problems such as environmental problems. However, it is equally possible and common for technology to reduce risks. For example, a smoke detector that reduces the risk of harm to people from a fire.
SafetyInfrastructure, equipment and services that improve safety such an aircraft that allows passengers to cross oceans safely.
HealthTechnologies that prevent, cure or treat health problems. For example, an incubator for premature infants.
CommunicationThe ability to communicate with anyone anywhere using a large number of mediums and tools. For example, the ability to keep in touch with distant family members by telephone, email and video chat.
KnowledgeTechnologies that facilitate the sharing and consumption of knowledge. For example, the internet represents the largest collection of information ever assembled and it's accessible to large populations.
DiscoveryTools for discovering new knowledge such as a scientific instrument, sensor or computer that can be used to discover and analyze information.
ExplorationTools for exploring such as a sailboat with a navigation system or a spacecraft.
EntertainmentEntertaining experiences such as streaming media or a nightclub that uses digital music technologies.
Epic MeaningPursuits that feel meaningful to a person such as a video game that fulfills a sense of adventure.
CultureTechnology is often presented as a threat to traditional culture. However, technology also is the foundation of culture such as film, photography and digital music.
ConnectednessThe ability to connect with people on a global basis. For example, an individual in a small remote town who can connect to other people in social media who share an enthusiasm for an obscure type of music.
LearningEducation technology such as digital media that is extremely engaging such that students find it effortless to learn things. For example, a game that makes learning vocabulary in a second language fun and fast.
VarietyThe ability to access an incredible variety of products, services, media, knowledge, social connections and experiences. For example, an individual in a small town who can purchase millions of items from a single ecommerce service.
Comfort & ConvenienceReducing negative stimuli, challenges and effort to make life easy. For example, an advanced material that is used to make a pillow that is softer on the head than any natural material.
ArchitectureTechnologies that create comfortable, safe and efficient habitats and workspaces for people. For example, smart glass that helps to cool, heat and ventilate a room by responding to weather and internal conditions.
CreativityCreativity tools such as a synthesizer that is used by a musician as an instrument.
DesignTools for creating things. In future it may be possible for regular people to design extremely complex things such as medicines, buildings and spacecraft by using design tools that do most of the heavy lifting.
Managing ComplexityInformation technology allows for the analysis, management, control, design and production of extremely complex things. For example, an earthquake detection system that can sense an earthquake near its source, calculate its impact and attempt to warn people and systems of the earthquake before it arrives at a location. This information can in be used to automatically secure things such as applying the breaks on a high speed train.
NotesThis article is part of a series that examines the advantages, disadvantages, risks, problems and ethics surrounding technology. Despite the positive depiction above, technology does have a number of potential disadvantages.
Technology EthicsThis is the complete list of articles we have written about technology ethics.
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