Technology & Innovation
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Technology is the pragmatic technical resources used by humans. Innovation is a human-centred perspective for change. Organisations are always looking for ways to integrate technology to automate tasks, secure data, reduce human error and gain competitive edge. In this digital age at every corner of an organisation there is usually some form of technological activity occurring. Sometimes technology innovations are not always welcomed by everyone and so some may not consider it as innovative at all. This is where an idiosyncrasy exists between innovation and technology.
1. What Is Innovation?
Innovation is a human-centred perspective for change. It is when a person seeks to challenge the status quo, diverging from the common perspective. Tunnel vision is a typical trait often found within teams. Innovators aspire to incite experiments within teams. Leading psychologists have found that people tend to demonstrate resistance to change and prefer to continue to do things the ‘normal way’. Innovation works to break the tunnel vision of the ‘normal way’ and find new ways of doing things whether pragmatic or logical. Sometimes innovation is merely sparked by curiosity, with innovators curious to see if there can be another way regardless of need or requirement. By testing and tweaking innovators fulfil their creativity and curiosity to see whether something else works. Innovation does not necessarily require technological advancement, it can involve simply changing the order of things using existing technology and resources.
2. The Relevance of Technology Innovation
Technology is moving at a fast pace. We live in an era where things are becoming more automated and autonomous. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics, Data Visualisation and Quantum Computing are becoming more and more in demand by governments and organisations around the globe. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now dominating our everyday lives.
In the USA 97% and in the UK 92% of people owned a smartphone in 2021. In contrast to the stationary less mobile internet in the early 2000s, because of technology innovation, people can connect to the world digitally using their revolutionary gadgets. Since smartphones are like mini computers with built-in operating systems, they are able to collect and store large amounts of data and function as a computer would for the purposes of accessing the internet for web browsing, banking, email, document management, online shopping etc. Smartphones also have smart cameras that can capture location information, they have antennas to listen to the radio, they have calendars to manage diaries and so many other digital functions that continue to be enhanced and expanded on a daily basis.
It has been reporting that there is a smartphone dependency, particularly with the younger adults with a heavy reliance on smartphones as a primary means for online access. Some reports have also suggested that smartphones can become addictive or the applications downloaded (apps) such as social media apps, games, email etc. This has created a controversial opinion of smartphones and their general use.
3. Trends And Research Areas
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This is a huge area within technology and it requires its own article for better insight. However, the basis for AI is so technology gathers enough information (data) to help humans make more informed decisions. AI has its own set of controversies which include lack of fairness and bias. Like human decision making that can often be flawed, artificial intelligence is riddled with programmed bias.
Business– Innovation in work trends since the Covid-19 pandemic, technology has become the save and grace for remote working, online shopping, completing everyday tasks like opening a new bank account. Technology has allowed for the atomisation within almost every industry.
Currency– technology has allowed for new digital currencies to emerge. Digital currency systems such as a cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, are only available in digital or electronic form. They are known as digital money, electronic currency or cybercash. They do not have a physical equivalent and are totally dependent on technology to make virtual transactions.
Education– from the application process to college, online exams and testing, online courses, webinars and online teaching. Education like business accelerated quickly to becoming more technology dependent and technological focused.
Gaming and Entertainment – both the gaming and entertainment industry have been revolutionised in recent years. With online gaming becoming one of the most lucrative multi-billion-dollar industries connecting gamers worldwide. Entertainment has transitioned from going to the movie to theatre to actually streaming movies online.
Healthcare– this includes innovation within medicine, trialling new drugs and biotechnology. Technology innovation plays a very important role in new hospital machinery and life-saving equipment.
Renewable Energy– Innovation in renewable energy experiments with new approaches to support energy transition away from fossil fuels and mined gases.
4. Controversies And Challenges In Technology
While innovation in technology is important to having a better planet, innovation in policy, regulation, market design, business models, finance and infrastructure are also essential.
5. Further Reading
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This page was last updated on 28, January, 2022