American engineers began developing digital technology in the mid-twentieth century. Their techniques were based on mathematical concepts suggested by the seventeenth-century German mathematician, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who proposed a binary computing system. His innovation inspired such numerical codes as American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) that described objects with digits.
Digital technology is a base two process. Digitized information is recorded in binary code of combinations of the digits 0 and 1, also called bits, which represent words and images. Digital technology enables immense amounts of information to be compressed on small storage devices that can be easily preserved and transported. Digitization also quickens data transmission speeds. Digital technology has transformed how people communicate, learn, and work.