Technology is the use of artifacts and processes to create intentions, test, or fabricate. Often, it is a context-dependent activity. Consequently, a number of different types of technology have emerged.
There are two major professional groups that use the word “technology”: engineers and social scientists. However, the term “technology” has an ambiguous, somewhat vague meaning. A wide range of philosophical definitions have been offered for the word. The most basic and useful one is the idea that technology involves the use of an artificial system or process, and that this process enables the creation of intentional or fabricated objects.
Some of the basic activities of technology are the making of artifacts, using artifacts, analyzing, designing, and doing. Each of these is an activity, and the various technologies may be practiced in both private and public contexts.
Another common definition of technology involves the making and use of artifacts, which is more inclusive than the making and using of artifacts alone. This definition is especially important when examining the history of technology. Historically, the term has been used to describe the making of nonmaterial things.
Invention and design are also part of making, but they are less involved with bodily action than the other types. By contrast, the activities of using, designing, and doing involve actions that are mainly performed in the body, such as the manipulation of artifacts.
A third type of usage, the making of an invention, is more related to knowledge than to action. This is because an invention is an object that is unique, not simply an object that is made.