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Researchers and engineers usually prefer to specify technology as used science, rather than as the things that people make and use. More just recently, scholars have actually borrowed from European theorists of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to different types of important reason, as in Foucault's work on innovations of the self (strategies de soi). Dictionaries and scholars have actually offered a range of definitions. The offers a meaning of the term: "making use of science in market, engineering, and so on, to develop helpful things or to fix issues" and "a machine, tool, technique, etc., that is developed by innovation." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, provided another meaning of the concept; it is "practice, the method we do things around here." The term is frequently utilized to indicate a particular field of technology, or to describe high innovation or just customer electronics, rather than technology as a whole.

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In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world issues. It is a far-reaching term that might include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wood spoon, or more complex devices, such as a spaceport station or particle accelerator. Tools and machines need not be product; virtual innovation, such as computer system software and business approaches, fall under this definition of innovation. W. Brian Arthur defines technology in a likewise broad method as "a way to fulfill a human function." The word "technology" can also be utilized to describe a collection of strategies.

When integrated with another term, such as "medical innovation" or "area technology," it describes the state of the respective field's knowledge and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" refers to the high technology readily available to humankind in any field. Innovation can be considered as an activity that forms or alters culture. Additionally, technology is the application of mathematics, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is known. A modern example is the increase of communication technology, which has lessened barriers to human interaction and as an outcome has helped generate new subcultures; the rise of cyberculture has at its basis the development of the Web and the computer system.