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13 Forces That Shape Technology

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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 Technology

Initially, new technologies are shaped by engineers. In the long term, technology is shaped by consumers.


A wide range of sensors are integrated into technology including things such as cameras, global positioning system units, altimeters, accelerometers, proximity sensors and gyroscopes.

Pervasive Computing

Computing is integrated with more and more things.


Technology such as sensors produce an ever increasing mountain of data. Governments and organizations attempt to use this data.

Miniaturization Of Technology

Technology gets smaller.

Commoditization Of Technology

Technology gets faster, better and cheaper.


Work and decisions are automated.


People 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 Complexity

Software becomes more complex requiring new techniques such as higher level languages and software that learns and self-improves.


People become engaged with technology for longer hours and in more depth to the point that it is becomes difficult to function without it.


Technologies and data are integrated.

Information Security Threats

Crime and warfare shift into electronic domains.

Cultural Lag

Societies 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.

Technology Ethics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about technology ethics.
Cultural Lag
Culture Lag
Dark Patterns
Digital Divide
Embrace, Extend ...
Net Neutrality
Precautionary Principle
More ...
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A definition of application with examples.

Technology Ethics

An overview of technology ethics.

Precautionary Principle

An overview of the precautionary principle.

Existential Risk

An overview of existential risk.

Types Of Technology

A list of the major types of technology.


An overview of the term precrime as it relates to technology ethics.


The definition of medicalization with examples.

Dark Patterns

The definition of dark pattern with examples.

Technology Disadvantages

An overview of the potential disadvantages of technology with examples.

Types Of Artificial Intelligence

A few common types of artificial intelligence.

Technological Singularity

Technological singularity explained.

Affective Computing

Artificial intelligence and emotion.

Artificial Life

An overview of artificial life.

Machine Logic

How artificial intelligence can be illogical.

Deep Learning

A definition of deep learning with examples.

Supervised Learning vs Unsupervised Learning

The difference between supervised and unsupervised learning with an example.

Natural Language Processing

The common types of natural language processing.

Autonomous Systems

Common types of autonomous systems.

Artificial Intelligence Examples

Common examples of artificial intelligence.
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