According to the latest study from Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans are optimistic about the future impact of science and technology. Men are more likely than women to be technological optimists, as are college graduates and those with higher household incomes. Interestingly, both young and old Americans are equally optimistic, despite having different tech adoption rates.
In the report, “U.S. Views of Technology and the Future,” Pew asked 1,001 adults about their outlooks on both long-term and short-term technological innovations. Even though most Americans have a positive outlook on the future of technology, there seemed to be more technological advancements they are afraid of than ones they would embrace.
Innovations Americans would like to see:
- Improvements in travel. Among Americans’ wish lists? A flying car or bike (six percent), personal space craft (four percent), teleportation device (three percent), jet pack (one percent) and hover board (one percent). Quite frankly, we’re surprised these numbers are so low. Who doesn’t want a teleportation device?
- Improvements in health. Nine percent of Americans want a longer life/cures for major diseases. Eighty-one percent think that custom-grown organs will become a reality in the next 50 years.
- Time travel. Nine percent.
- Don’t know what the future will bring. Twenty-eight percent said they didn’t know what future invention they would like to have, and 11 percent were “not interested in futuristic inventions.”
Innovations Americans would not like to see:
- Driverless cars. Less than half of all respondents said that they would like to ride in a driverless car. Urban and suburban residents were more interested in driverless cars compared to rural residents.
- Superhuman brain capacity. Only 26 percent of Americans said that they would get a brain implant that improves mental capacity.
- Meat from a test tube. Twenty percent of Americans said they would be willing to eat meat that was grown in a laboratory (men more so than women).
- Designer babies. Sixty-six percent of Americans think that life would be worse if parents could alter the DNA of their offspring.
- Robots. Sixty-five percent thought life would be worse if we had robots caring for the elderly and sick. The Japanese don’t agree.
- Delivery drones. Sixty-three percent of respondents thought it’d be a bad thing if personal and commercial drones were allowed to fly through U.S. airspace. Sorry, Amazon.
- Google Glass. Fifty-three percent think that life would be worse if most people wore “implants or other devices that constantly show them information about the world around them.” Sorry, Google.
Readers: What future invention would you like to have? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @SocialTimes.
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