Every now and again, new technological innovations are emerging, and some of them are disruptive while others aimed at improving the existing technologies that were in place. Some examples of technological innovations that have emerged in the recent years include interactive technologies of the social media, new model of cars, BIM technologies that are used in the construction industry, etc. The emergence of these technologies has had an impact on the manner which people are interacting with each other, and this includes social and economic interaction. There are many factors that have led to the emergence of technological innovations and inventions. However, economic, social and military factors are the main determinative factors that have led to the increased development of technological innovations, to the extent that humanity cannot control its evolution. On this note, the argument of this paper is that technological development and innovations is determinative and humanity has been unable to control its expansion.
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One of the most important determinative factors for the development of technology is for defense and military use. It is an obvious fact that military institutions in the world are conducting research on how to develop some of the latest and most lethal weapons, for purposes of protecting their borders and maintaining their securities. Countries such as China, America and Russia have developed some of the most lethal weapons in the world: this includes nuclear weapons that can wipe an entire country. Moreover, other countries such as North Korea and Iran feel threatened by such weapons, and they are forced to develop their own programs aimed at achieving nuclear capability. Take for example North Korea. North Korea feels threatened by America and its ally South Korea, and this has forced the country to invest heavily in research for purposes of developing nuclear weapons that can hit America. North Korea believes that such a weapon will deter American and South Korean forces from attacking it. Despite crippling sanctions that are imposed on North Korea, the country still continues to test and develop nuclear weapons.
Iran is another example. In as much as Iran has been stopped from developing nuclear weapons, the country is still engaged in extensive research aimed at developing ballistic missiles and high tech drones that can carry out military functions. The reason for investing so much in military technology is for purposes of protecting itself against a perceived attack from the Israel and the American army. In both these examples, technological development has been beyond the control of humanity. North Korea continues with its nuclear technology, despite threats of attack from America and crippling sanctions; while Iran has not given up in developing powerful military weapons that can enable it protect itself against American attacks and that of its allies.
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Economics is another determinant of technological innovations. We are living in an extremely competitive environment and business organizations are forced to be creative and innovative, in order to increase their profits and succeed in their respective industries. Take for example the extensive competition in the mobile phone industry. Apple and Samsung are fierce rivals, and they are forced to come up with the latest mobile phone technologies in order to maintain their market, and penetrate new markets. For instance, in March 2017, Samsung managed to launch a new tablet that is technologically advanced when compared to other tablets. That is, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 3, on the other hand, Apple introduced the iPad 2017. These are new technological gadgets, with more advanced features than the previous products of the company. The reason for this constant innovations and creativity is to ensure that the two companies are able to control their market, and to venture into other markets that are beyond their reach.
Economic competition does not only apply in the telephone industry, but it is also applicable in the auto industry. A good example is BMW. The development of BMW 5 series has made the company to achieve growth and break into new markets that the previous version of the vehicle could not break. Note that, the increased innovations and development of new vehicles is because of the fear that the competitors of BMW such as Mercedes and Audi will develop new cars and take over its market. This will definitely lead to the collapse of the company. In building and construction, there is the development and use of BIM technology. This technology enables constructors to save time and reduces the costs of constructing and maintaining a building or a structure. This has forced countries such as the United Kingdom to come up with policies whereby any structure that is being constructed by government money, has to use the BIM technology. Therefore, because of the importance of these technologies to reduce costs, constructors are forced to develop and improve on them, for use in the construction industry.
Social factors also determine the development and evolution of technology. There is an increased need of people to communicate efficiently and effectively with one another; hence, the need to develop innovative methods of communication. This is the reason why social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become a success. In fact, these sites are constantly updating the quality of service they provide, and this is through the introduction of new technologies. The reason for these constant updates is because of the changing needs of the users of these social media. Note, these changing needs are always based on the economic, social and political factors affecting the users of the social media. Some of these factors are always beyond the control of such users.
Finally, technological development is determinative, and it is beyond the control of human freedom. For instance, military factors are one of the issues determining technology. Fears of being attacked have made other countries to invest in technology for purposes of protecting themselves. Other factors that determine technology are economics, and social factors. Economic competition between companies forces them to be innovative, while changing social needs forces communication companies to devise ways of serving the identified needs.
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- Block, Fred L., and Matthew R. Keller. State of innovation: the US government’s role in technology development. Routledge, 2015.
- Christensen, Clayton M. The innovator’s dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013.
- Mendelsohn, Everett, Merritt Roe Smith, and Peter Weingart, eds. Science, technology and the military. Vol. 12. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013. The innovator’s dilemma, 17.