Information technology and communications. Known by the acronym ICT according to abbreviationfinder, Information technology and communications are the set of media (radio, television and conventional telephony) of communication and information applications that allow the capture, production, storage, treatment, and presentation of information in the form of voice, images and data contained in signals of an acoustic, optical or electromagnetic nature. ICTs include electronics as a base technology that supports the development of telecommunications, computing and audiovisual.
The story shows how a unique system that used torches on distant towers, allowed as far back as the year 300 BC, the transmission of the 25 combinations corresponding to each of the letters of the Greek alphabet, but it is not until the middle of the last century XIX that shows the real technological advances in data transmission with the invention of the telegraph and the telephone, together with the creation by the professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge in (1833), Charles Babbage, of a mechanical device capable of perform a chain of calculations, essence of the software.
The end of the 20th century, in particular, has been marked by a hitherto independent technological convergence. This convergence experienced by Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications, has its greatest exponent in the vertiginous growth achieved by the Internet.
As a result of such confluence, new concepts such as: ” Information Technology “, ” Knowledge Society “, “Information Age” or ” Telematics ” begin to be generalized.
Information Technologies have been conceptualized as the integration and convergence of computing, microelectronics, telecommunications and data processing techniques. Its main components are: the human factor, the contents of the information, the equipment, the material infrastructure, the software and the mechanisms for electronic exchange of information, the elements of policy and regulations, and the financial resources.
In today’s society, the role played by information technologies is recognized as the central nucleus of a multidimensional transformation experienced by the economy and society, hence the importance of studying and mastering the influences that such transformation imposes on the human being. as a social entity, since it tends to modify not only their habits and behavior patterns, but even their way of thinking, working and educating themselves.
- The development of microelectronics, which has made possible the enormous advance in the power and computational capacity of computers.
- Advances in telecommunications, which have caused the explosion of the use of local and global networks.
- The accelerated development of programs and applications that are generalized, getting closer to the “general public” through easy-to-communicate and pleasant interfaces, with the use of multimedia techniques.
These factors mean that costs are reduced every day and, therefore, the use of these media is expanded in other sectors, not only in the military or industrial academy, but also in the business sector, in health, education, leisure and the homes themselves.
It is considered that the largest investments worldwide are concentrated in this sector and there are even theories of sociological currents, with an idealistic approach, which they consider to be the miraculous element, a catalyst for the solution of social economic problems.
It is important to point out that the New Information and Communications Technologies (NICT) today act as an important engine of growth because to their economic advantages in terms of added value, productivity and employment, are added others related to their bidirectional interconnective nature, which allows the transmission and generalization of advantages and experiences between different regions and environments.
This new technological revolution not only ignores the barriers of time and space, since its services are available 24 hours a day and in any corner of the planet, but it also modifies the solutions between citizens and between these and the different institutions.
Access to large databases in Universities and Libraries, distance learning, selfless collaboration between research centers or the use of telemedicine are examples of the infinite universe of possibilities that these technologies can offer and that today exalt the human condition.
It is contradictory that currently many satellite service providers have their channels covered by businesses as lucrative as digital television, however, none makes such infrastructure available for social services even when a small exploitation of these technologies could save human lives.
Contrasts of the computerization of society
So far, in the first part of this work, an idyllic image of the effect of technologies as a pure source of solutions and not of additional problems has been exposed. History itself has shown how the development of the technique and its dissemination are generally a double-edged sword, associated with harmful collateral effects, increasing severity and constant concern for good men.
Currently there is a ruthless struggle carried out by large companies for control of the content market and digital television, this has caused a wave of mergers and acquisitions with the consequent appearance of gigantic technological consortiums, with so much influence in the society as the governments themselves and that threaten to become the manipulators of the conscience of the individual.
While the domain ” Cyberspace ” is becoming a new habitat for pernicious actions and evils of all kinds. Scourges such as drug trafficking, child prostitution, neo-fascist and terrorist propaganda, robbery, constant attacks by so-called ” hackers ” or law evasion, constitute “the dark side”.
Collateral effects are also transculturation and loss of identity, ruthless propaganda that is increasingly dazzling, refined, and its dire consequences of depression, alienation, and self-centeredness. Large companies have the domain of the so-called information content on the network. In this way the contents, carriers of ideas, policies and ways of life from the exploiting countries, impose their lifestyle in a very refined and “personalized” way internalized by the user. More than a century ago Frederick Engels stated:
“We should not boast of all our victories over nature […] although it is true that the first consequences of said victory are those foreseen, very different secondary consequences may appear, totally unforeseen, which are not infrequently canceled by the first ones”
The beneficial effect of science and technology is determined, fundamentally, by the men who control their development and use, so that in order to make the progress and well-being that they can offer a reality, a social organization is required first. capable of subordinating the fruit of human activity to the vital interests of society as a whole, and not to that of a group eager for profit and power.
Once again the presence of how the new Industrial Revolution (information age), has become multiplier of the legendary abyss between exploited and exploiters, between rich and poor.
According to Enrique González (Manet), a prominent journalist dedicated to the development of communications and a UNESCO official, who has reviewed an extensive bibliography on the matter, he states that third world psychologists and economists have not begun to investigate the socioeconomic consequences of new technologies of communication, although this phenomenon began to manifest itself in the seventies of the last twentieth century.
Statistics from the United Nations Organization (UN), UNESCO and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) suggest that underdeveloped countries barely have: 2% of satellites, 3% of mail, 5% of computers, 5% of the television stations, 6% of the telephone lines and none of the databases or the 10,000 integrated digital network systems that operate on a global scale.
That is why in the IV Meeting of Ministers of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean (held in Cuba, 1991), they approved in their agreement 56 to consider as a cultural priority the diagnosis and evaluation of the effect that new audiovisual technologies —in particular, video, cable distribution and direct satellite reception – has on the popular heritage and national identity in each of our countries. A prospective vision, even at the risk of being considered utopian, indicates that there is no other alternative than to adopt integrated actions and policies in the communication, education and culture sectors, as a way to guarantee development, identity and independence.
The first challenge for Latin America to assume modernization processes is not the market strategies of transnational corporations or technology transfer, but the development of coherent public policies that value telecommunications as a factor of socioeconomic development.
These policies should not only stimulate national and regional production, but also take into account political, cultural and educational phenomena to preserve identity and sovereignty. In these regions, new technologies usually present serious contradictions: they entered the continent about twenty years ago, associated with transnational banks and airlines, and not as an element of infrastructural transformation in industrial production and basic services.
The modernization of electronic networks also allowed more than eighty billion dollars to flow in less than a week from Mexico to North America in 1982, when the liberation of the dollar was decreed, thereby generating a sharp drop in the purchasing power of the currency. national.