Impact of technological changes and automation in human life and society.

Impact of technological changes and automation in human life and society.

Technology and human life cannot be separated; society has a cyclical co-dependence on technology. We use technology; depend on technology in our daily life and our needs and demands for technology keep on rising. Humans use technology to travel, to communicate, to learn, to do business and to live in comfort. However technology has also caused us concerns. Its poor application has resulted into the pollution of the environment and it has also cause serious threat to our lives and society. This calls for proper use of technology. The biggest challenge facing people is to determine the type of future we need to have and then create relevant technologies which will simplify the way we do things.

It is impossible to explore how each new advanced technology has impacted our lives and how it will impact the future. Technology impacts the environment, people and the society as a whole. The way we use technology determines if its impacts are positive to the society or negative.  For example, (POSITIVE IMPACT) we can use corn to make ethanol and this ethanol can be used as fuel. Fuel can be used to run machines and cars which will increase on output of manufacturing industries at a lower cost. (NEGATIVE IMPACT) However, if we decide to shift large quantities of corn to fuel production from food production, humans will be left with no food and this will cause world hunger which even be a worse situation.

Basing on the example above, technology by its self is not harmful to the society, but the way society uses technology to achieve specific goals is what results into negative impacts of technology on the society. Humans need to use energy to process products in factories, to run cars , to light homes and also run technological machines like computers, but the only way we can do this without affecting the environment and society , is by shifting from exhaustible energy sources to renewable and inexhaustible sources like Solar / Wind energy.  Below I have listed both positive and negative impacts of technology on our society:


  • Technology has mechanized agriculture:

Technology has mechanized agriculture : Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food in a short period of time with less input which results into high yields and RIO ”return on investment”. Through government subsidies, small and medium sized farmers have managed to acquire ploughing, sowing, watering and harvesting machines. The use of technology in agriculture has also resulted into the manufacturing of genetic crops which can grow fast and they can be resistant to many pests and diseases. Also farmers have access to artificial fertilizers which add value to the soil and boost the growth of their crops and enable them to produce high quality yields. Farmers in dry areas have been in position to grow healthy crops, they use advanced water pumps and sprinklers which derive water from rivers to the farms, the all process can be automated to save time. A good example is Egypt, this is a desert country which receives little rain, but small and big farmers have used automated sprinklers to irrigate their farms. In Egypt, they grow a lot of rice, yet this crop needs sufficient water to grow well. The water is pumped from River Nile to the rice fields on a daily basis.

  • Technology has improved transportation:

Technology has improved transportation:   Transportation is one of the basic areas of technological activity. Both society and businesses have benefited from the new transpiration methods. Transportation provides mobility for people and goods. Transportation, like all other technologies can be viewed as a system. It is a series of parts that are interrelated. These parts all work together to meet a certain goal. Transportation uses vehicles, trains, airplanes, motorbikes, people, roads, energy, information, materials, finance and time. All these parts i have mentioned work together to move and relocate people and goods. Technology has helped in advancing all the four types of transportation and these include;

(1) Road transport used by automobiles;

(2) Air transport which is used by airplanes;

(3) Water transportation which is used by ships and speed boats; and

(4) Space transportation used to go to the moon.

The most used of all these is Road transportation, this one facilitates the movement of goods and people. Technologies like automobiles, buses and trucks have improved the way humans move and how they transport their goods from place to another.  Also developing countries are getting funds from wealthy countries to improve their road transport which has resulted into development of rural remote areas.

  • Technology has improved communication:

Technology has improved communication: Communication is used for a number of purposes. Both society and organizations depend on communication to transfer information.  People use technology to communicate with each other. Electronic Medias like radios, televisions, internet, social Medias have improved the way we exchange ideas which can develop our societies. In many countries, radios and televisions are used to voice the concerns of the society; they organize live forums where the community can contribute through mobile phones or text service systems like tweeter. During political elections, leaders use radio, television and internet Medias to reach the people they want to serve. A good example is the recent presidential election in USA , ”President Barak Obama ” has embraced the communication technology to reach and voice out his concerns towards the development of America.  Communication technologies like Televisions, radios and internet can be used to persuade, entertain and inform the society. Small businesses have also used internet and mobile communication technology to grow and improve their customer service.

  • Technology has improved education and learning process:

Technology has improved education and learning process: Education is the backbone of every economy. People need well and organized educational infrastructures so that they can learn how to interpret information. Many schools have started integrating educational technologies in their schools with a great aim of improving the way students learn. Technologies like smart whiteboards, computers, mobile phones, ipads, projectors and internet are being used in classrooms to boost students moral to learn. Visual education is becoming more popular and it has proved to be the best method of learning in many subjects like mathematics, physics, biology, geography, economics and much more. The business community has invested money in various educational technologies which can be used by both teachers and their students.  For example, on iTunes, you will find many educational applications which can allow students and teachers exchange academic information at any time, this has made learning mobile.  Also programs like Long distance learning have opened boundaries to so many scholars around round the world.


  • Resource Depletion:

The more demand for new technologies and advancement of current technologies, the more pressure we put on earth’s natural resources. Look at the total number of mobile phones and computers being manufactured today, our population is increasing every day and all these billion consumers demand either a mobile phone or a computer in their homes or offices. This is good news to the manufactures, like Apple or Samsung, the demand for their gadgets is high, but to sustain this demand, they have to exploit Mother Nature for resources like aluminum, once these resources are extracted from the earth plates, they will never return back because it took those a billion years to mature.  That means that at one time, we shall be left with no natural resource which can be a problem to the future generation and economy.  Likewise, the intensive farming practices will deplete the soil. This makes heavy applications of commercial fertilizers necessary to yield healthy harvests, but also these fertilizers have chemicals which are dangerous to the soil and human lives.

  • Increased Population:

Technology has helped us live longer by improving health facilities and aiding in the research for solutions for most health problems which affect humans. This is good news for developed countries, but is bad news for developing countries which have not been in position to access these health care benefits brought by technology. In developed countries population growth is controlled by advanced birth control methods, this has helped them balance their population in relation to natural resources and other opportunities which come with a planned population. This is different in developing countries, the rate at which people produce is very high , the mortality rate is high , food is scarce and health care is poor.

  • Increased Pollution:

Pollution affects the land we grow crops on , the water we drink  and the air we breath. The increased demand for new technologies and advancement of technologies has resulted into many manufacturing and processing factories. As they work so hard to create the best technologies for both society and business, they release harmful chemicals and gasses which have polluted our environment and this has resulted into climate changes (global warming). So the more technology we enjoy, the more we harm our environment. Experts have tried to implement ways of reducing this impact by encouraging factories to go green , to a small extent, this has been achieved  through  the development of green technologies like; green cars , green computers, but a great effort is still needed to reduce the pollution of the air and the earth.

Automation – Pros and cons:

Based on different studies, the automation could attract also both negative and positive actions along its development. Starting with the negative part, the automation is thought to lead to unemployment, because new machineries seem to be more efficient rather than human labor. It is also because most company owners don’t want to spend so much money on employee’s wages, when they can use machinery rather than human labor. In the near future, robots could be able to function similar as human. One way it’s exactly what we need, and on the other hand, the fear of losing jobs grows day by day. Stephen Hawking express his doubts about automation, by saying: “Creating artificial intelligence will be the biggest event in human history… it might also be the last.” It seems that a notion has developed that robots and the future artificial intelligence behind them are out to get human’s jobs (Alana, 2011).

Changes due to automation:

The concept of automation not only should change the behavior of human workforce it could change the behavior of human workforce to the so called knowledge worker for the upcoming digital revolution of industry. In Europe, due to abruptly demographic changes, the knowledge of skilled workers will become the most important resource of any industry. Since the beginning of first industrial revolution workforce behavior was restricted by applying standards, workflows and internal regulation meaning to achieve systematization, discipline, safety and other industry required “behaviors”. One thing is certain. Humanity should adapt to the changes and make the best of it, redistributing work force to other fields. Once the processes are more automated, les workers are needed in production and more workers are needed in other areas, where education is more important, so this could lead to higher demand for education, or implication in programming the systems and developing a better design for goods. Automation can mean a migration from actual production, to maintenance, operating, engineering, integration, sustainability and continuously improvement. The level of the changes depends by the actual level of the behavior (as an example, a worker from Germany will switch faster and easily to the concept of knowledge worker, compared to a worker 471 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 9th INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE “Management and Innovation For Competitive Advantage”, November 5th-6th, 2015, BUCHAREST, ROMANIA from Romania – because of the higher level of automation and of course due to a higher adaptability to new technologies). The employees have the opportunity to work in a modern futuristic factory/company and beside this they can feel that they have a more challenging job that meets the 21st century’s companies that have to keep up with the technology.

Advantages of automation:

The positive effects of automation could be in a significant number more that the negative ones. At the moment, these digital assistants are just assistants – helpful when asked to be helpful, and certainly, not freethinking. With so many logistical calculations that need to be made in the service industry, the risk of human error is always going to be high. Employing a central artificial intelligence function takes some of this risk away. It can crunch numbers immediately and assimilate critical information more accurately to arrive at optimal decisions. This can be done more quickly and frequently than humans can. Is artificial intelligence therefore replacing the human element? Not at all – it is simply taking a laborious task away from an employee who can add more value tackling a more challenging and subjective problem. It is highly unlikely that artificial intelligence will ever be able to display the creative and intuitive capabilities needed to match humans at the tasks we exceed in, those that are not always black and white, right or wrong. Fundamentally, the service industry is about people solving problems for people. Human issues need human solutions. Robots will only ever be able to support the problem-solving structure. It cannot replace it. Modern technology is considered to be just a tool that needs to be used efficiently in order to gather the maximum amount of value. Technology will dramatically change the nature of our jobs, but it won’t take them away. Rather, it will free up individuals to focus on higher value challenges that can only be tackled by a human mind. The workforce of the future should need to focus on new ways to apply and leverage skills so workers can add greater value. This workforce of the next generation could be defined by jobs that embrace and make sense of data and smart machines. It’s all about changing perceptions of not only what is needed but what is most valuable for us to dedicate our lives to (Rossi, 2015). Technology is proved to make humans smarter. In the near future, the entire human workforce could gain confidence through using of robots and automation, could find answers to questions and solutions to problems. A machine has no ability to asset situations and cannot look at a set of transactions and provide an overall picture of what they could mean. The human-robot interaction should produce positive effects, taking into consideration their practical cooperation. For example, humans are not able to search for something in a wide amount of data, but they use algorithms and machineries to help them do this job. It’s less time-consuming are very efficient. The machine finds 472 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 9th INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE “Management and Innovation For Competitive Advantage”, November 5th-6th, 2015, BUCHAREST, ROMANIA patterns and indicates different activities and situations. Humans do usually the best thing that can be done: analyze the situations, think at a probable solution and then respond to it in an appropriate way. The new technologies provide humans access to intelligent systems that ultimately allows them the freedom to become smarter in how they work.


The technological growth taking place in the world today is doing so very rapidly and there are new advancements being made with each passing day and this is possible owing to the large number of extensive programmes of technological research currently being done by a large number of researchers working within non-profit research organizations, business and universities. The developments being made today are very strong and are very pervasive forces in the business environment today. Technology can easily be referred to as the scientific knowledge to the practical problems we are experiencing in the world today. There is no denying that the impact of technology in the world today is huge and can be categorized into how it affects our society today and how it influences the business activities and operations.

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Impact of IT on society in the new century. Available from: [6February 2014].