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When combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space innovation," it refers to the state of the respective field's understanding and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" describes the high technology available to humanity in any field. Innovation can be considered as an activity that forms or changes culture. Furthermore, technology is the application of mathematics, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is understood. A modern example is the increase of interaction technology, which has actually lessened barriers to human interaction and as an outcome has helped spawn brand-new subcultures; the rise of cyberculture has at its basis the advancement of the Internet and the computer system.

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The distinction in between science, engineering, and innovation is not constantly clear. Science is methodical understanding of the physical or material world gotten through observation and experimentation. Technologies are not generally solely items of science, since they need to satisfy requirements such as utility, functionality, and security. Engineering is the goal-oriented process of creating and making tools and systems to exploit natural phenomena for useful human means, frequently (but not always) utilizing results and strategies from science. The advancement of innovation might draw upon many fields of understanding, including clinical, engineering, mathematical, linguistic, and historical knowledge, to achieve some practical result.

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For instance, science might study the circulation of electrons in electrical conductors by utilizing already-existing tools and knowledge. This new-found understanding might then be utilized by engineers to create new tools and machines such as semiconductors, computers, and other forms of sophisticated innovation. In this sense, scientists and engineers might both be thought about technologists []; the three fields are often thought about as one for the functions of research and recommendation. The precise relations in between science and technology, in specific, have actually been disputed by researchers, historians, and policymakers in the late 20th century, in part due to the fact that the argument can notify the funding of basic and used science.