Technology is a broad term that encompasses tools and machines used to solve real-world problems. It can include everything from simple a crowbar to the complex computers that run many modern businesses. Modern technologies often require extensive training to design, build, maintain, repair and use. The resulting skills sets have given rise to entire fields of study and industry, such as engineering and medicine.
There are two sharply divergent traditions in the history of discussing and writing about technology. One, as exemplified by the works of Johann Beckmann, Talcott Parsons and Aristotle, portrays it as a narrow technical rationality devoid of morality. The other, as represented by the works of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Anthony Burgess, depicts it as a threat to civilization and human values.
It is seldom possible to produce a new technology without considering its broad impact and the effects of its use on society. It is the responsibility of scientists and engineers to look ahead as far as practical and estimate the benefits, side effects and risks of a proposed technology. It is also their responsibility to consider alternative ways of accomplishing the same ends and to test the resulting technology against the limits of the physical world.
Most technological innovations involve an iterative process and the completion of each step confirms the underlying ideas and gains confidence that the results will work as intended. This iterative process is often very time consuming and the development of even apparently promising technologies can take decades to complete.