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Application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment. Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of power to make life easier or more pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is concerned with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things happen. Technology began to influence human endeavour as soon as people began using tools. It accelerated with the Industrial Revolution and the substitution of machines for animal and human labour. Accelerated technological development has also had costs, in terms of air and water pollution and other undesirable environmental effects.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on technology, visit Britannica.com.