- Manual – getting anything done required hard labour.
E.g. Walking from point A to Be with no assistance.
- Instrumental – still mostly hard labour but aid from a tangible tool (instruments) which needs to be manually operated.
E.g. A walking stick to help in walking from Point A to Point B.
- Mechanical – think wheels, levers, gears and pulleys which outputs productivity / effort many times the amount of effort input.
E.g. Riding a bicycle from Point A to Point B.
- Powered – gas, petrol, electric, steam. Utility is automated, and effort is diverted from basic operation in order to create productivity to more complex ‘control’. There is a greater amount of automation involved in technology that are powered.
E.g. Driving a petrol powered car from Point A to Point B.
- Networked – where individual units of technology are able to communicate with each other and coordinate complex tasks through a connected network. This leads to a greater level of automation and which leads to more efficiency gains. Effort in day to day processes are no longer required. However back end programming is required for proper functionality.
E.g. Riding a self driving car from Point A to Point B which is connected to the traffic network and other self driving cars.
- Intelligent – technology that can learn and become truly multifunctional through an iterative process without the need (or very little need) for human intervention.
E.g. A networked vehicle that will transport you from Point A to Point B in different methods depending on circumstances such as mood of person, weather and urgency detected through sensors and machine learning.
- Each stage adds a new level complexity meaning another point of failure. You wonder why everything breaks / doesn’t work its suppose to be, more often than in the past (Think Nokia 3220 vs Samsung S4 or iPhone 5)… Well there’s at least a higher chance. Not only that, but there are many more points of exploitation for people to take advantage of (i.e. Hackers).
E.g. Networked self driving car: 1) Network failure 2) Power problem 3) Engineering Problem 4) Faulty components
- Following security, comes information / data. The higher the level of technology the more information is needed to be functional especially given feedback attributes allowing (re)calibration and machine learning. As data becomes more and more important the more valuable it becomes and the more necessary it is to sort and make sense of all the information.
E.g. Think of all the factors that needs to be considered to walk from Point A to Point B unaided vs walking into a self driving car. Thus security and personal information becomes a higher consideration in ever day life.
- Specialisation of labour becomes necessary – due the growing complexity with each layer requires an additional level of expertise. As additional layers are added it becomes increasingly difficult to have sufficient understanding of each layer i.e. understanding the whole system from level 1-6. Thus specialisation and collaboration becomes more important to be able to design, create and maintain new technologies
E.g. Specialists in hardware / web development / networking / AI / design / manufacturing
So what do you guys think? Would love to hear some feedback and any comments.