Technological Change

Technological Change

Technological Change Jonathan Poland

Technological change refers to the development and adoption of new technologies and the ways in which they transform society and the economy. It is a continuous process that involves the creation of new ideas, the commercialization of those ideas through products and services, and the ongoing improvement and evolution of those technologies.

Technological change often follows an exponential or hyperbolic curve, meaning that the pace of change increases over time. This is due to the fact that new technologies often enable the development of even newer and more advanced technologies, leading to a feedback loop of innovation and progress.

Technological change has the potential to revolutionize industries and transform society in countless ways. It can lead to increased productivity, economic growth, and improved living standards, as well as the creation of new jobs and industries. However, it can also lead to disruption and displacement, as older technologies and industries may become obsolete and workers may need to adapt to new roles and skills.

Overall, technological change is a driving force behind economic and societal progress, and it is an essential aspect of modern life. It is important for individuals, businesses, and governments to stay up-to-date on the latest technological developments and consider their potential impacts on the economy and society. The following are common types of technological change.


Tools that allow people to produce more in an hour of work. For example, accounting software that freed accounting departments from cumbersome paper-based processes.


Technologies such as automation that allows firms to produce more with a unit of input.


Medicine, medical devices and other technologies that treat or prevent disease.


Tools that help people to create, manage and share knowledge such as the internet.


Technology such as games that transform leisure time.


Technology that directly or indirectly changes societies such as social media.


Changes to the way that people track current events and form political opinions using information tools.


Culture is a stabilizing force that doesn’t change easily. Nevertheless, technology changes culture over time. For example, 20th century American culture was greatly influenced by technologies such as the automobile and television.


Technology creates economic shifts. For example, automation may cause short or long term disruptions to labor markets.


Technology creates new business models and disrupts old ones.


Technology may create waste that harms ecosystems, the climate system and quality of life. In theory, technologies such as renewable energy can also reduce some of this impact.


Transportation tends to become faster and safer with time.

Quality of Life

Technological advancement is associated with a higher quality of life in areas such as working conditions, safety and health. Not all technological change improves quality of life as demonstrated by issues caused by technology such as poor air quality.

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