Innovation in the technological domain is defined by the ability to produce something new and which has increased the usefulness and functionality of an existing product, technology or procedure. Technological change can be both conservative and progressive. A conservative approach would be those techniques and practices that have been tried and tested over a period of time and have generally yielded positive results. The progressive view points to those new techniques and practices which are revolutionary in their own right and have the potential to change entire fields of activity.
Technological change occurs everyday as new technologies are developed. Technological developments sometimes create a great deal of excitement in society but sometimes this excitement can also lead to anxiety and even panic. The worry about potential lost technological capabilities can result in government policies being established to protect the population from the possible losses associated with new technologies. Such policies can often restrict the type of technology that people are allowed to use and they can sometimes even involve the use of force.
Technological change can also impact society in other ways as well. Technological innovations may result in the creation of new job markets as well as new skill markets. Technological unemployment is often cited as one of the disadvantages of technovation. However, as the employment market becomes more automated, there will be more job opportunities for individuals who are qualified to perform different types of tasks which may allow them to receive a higher wage than they could have previously.
Technological innovation can also impact the distribution of income in a society. Technological innovations have often been associated with great wealth gaps between rich and poor. In some cases this has resulted in social inequality. However, as the distribution of income becomes more equalized, the number of wealthy people becoming poorer has also decreased resulting in a more balanced economic development.
Technological innovation has the potential to eliminate many of the problems that currently affect society. In the short term, it can eliminate the problem of unemployment. As the process of technovation develops, the unemployment rate will likely drop as the population becomes more educated about the importance of technological improvements. Technological innovations have the potential to reduce crime and significantly increase safety levels in most communities.
Technological change can have a number of long-term positive effects on society. However, some of these potential benefits may not be realized for several years or decades into the future. The impact of this potential gain can be seen today, however. Technological changes have reduced costs and risks for businesses and individuals. This means that people can use technology to create new wealth and create new opportunities for societal development.