13 Forces That Shape Technology
John Spacey, updated on May 09, 2016
Technology is driven by a number of fundamental forces that haven't changed that much since computing took off in the mid-1940s. Many of these forces are renamed each decade according to the trends and buzzwords of the day. The following are persistent and intractable forces of technological change.
Domestication Of TechnologyInitially, new technologies are shaped by engineers. In the long term, technology is shaped by consumers.
SensorsA wide range of sensors are integrated into technology including things such as cameras, global positioning system units, altimeters, accelerometers, proximity sensors and gyroscopes.
Pervasive ComputingComputing is integrated with more and more things.
DataficationTechnology such as sensors produce an ever increasing mountain of data. Governments and organizations attempt to use this data.
Miniaturization Of TechnologyTechnology gets smaller.
Commoditization Of TechnologyTechnology gets faster, better and cheaper.
AutomationWork and decisions are automated.
ApplicationsPeople think of new applications for technology that can result in sudden and dramatic change to industries, markets, the environment, communities, governments, transportation, energy, entertainment, quality of life and society.
Software ComplexitySoftware becomes more complex requiring new techniques such as higher level languages and software that learns and self-improves.
EngagementPeople become engaged with technology for longer hours and in more depth to the point that it is becomes difficult to function without it.
IntegrationTechnologies and data are integrated.
Information Security ThreatsCrime and warfare shift into electronic domains.
Cultural LagSocieties and their institutions such as legal systems are slow to adapt to technological change resulting in a period of maladjustment. Societies are also slow to manage new risks generated by technology, potentially resulting in a progress trap or existential risk.
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