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Science & Technology

Americans Find Future Tech Both Fascinating and Frightening

The tempo of technological change is getting quicker, and many Americans are optimistic concerning the outcomes, though a large minority are involved,
Pew Research has discovered.

Americans Find Future Tech Both Fascinating and Frightening

Practically 60 p.c suppose technological and scientific advances will make life sooner or later higher, however 30 p.c concern they’ll make life worse than it’s immediately.

Sparking probably the most anxiousness: designer infants; robots as major caregivers for the ailing and aged; private and business drones flying U.S. skies; and implants or different wearable units (similar to Google Glass) that consistently give customers details about the world round them.

“In some ways, this can be a basic American story. We’re usually optimistic about our capacity to beat obstacles and for issues to work out properly ultimately, at the same time as we envision many challenges to beat on our method to getting there,” Alex Smith, senior researcher on the Pew Analysis Heart, instructed TechNewsWorld.

Nonetheless, what the outcomes present is that “we actually do not know what’s coming and that there’s a important variety of individuals that may resist the adjustments in the event that they violate their privateness or non secular beliefs,” contended Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group — or in the event that they consider the adjustments will make them out of date.

Princeton Knowledge Supply interviewed 1,001 individuals aged 18 and above all through america Feb. 13-18 for the research, in English and Spanish, over landlines and cellphones.

Some Highlights of the Survey

Greater than 80 p.c of the respondents anticipated that substitute human organs can be custom-grown in a lab inside the subsequent 50 years.

Computer systems will be capable to create artwork that may’t be distinguished from that produced by people, 51 p.c of the respondents anticipated.

Whereas 50 p.c mentioned they did not need to experience in a driverless automotive, 48 p.c mentioned they did.

Greater than 70 p.c wouldn’t need to get a mind implant to enhance their reminiscence or psychological capability, however 26 p.c would.

Neglect about teleporting any time quickly — solely about 40 p.c of respondents anticipated scientists would develop the expertise to teleport objects inside the subsequent half century.

Nonetheless, many wish to expertise a future very like the one envisioned within the cartoon collection The Jetsons, full with flying automobiles and private spacecrafts.

In addition they would really like time journey to grow to be a actuality — and, regardless of the overall opposition to creating designer infants, they desired well being enhancements that will prolong human life or treatment main ailments.

Groundhog Day Was Simply the Starting

“The factor that struck me concerning the report was how, in some ways, the visions individuals have of the technological future are surprisingly static,” Patrick McCray, a professor within the historical past division of the
University of California at Santa Barbara, instructed TechNewsWorld.

“When you put forth a few of these technological prospects to individuals on the 1964 World’s Honest — area colonization, smarter computer systems, driverless automobiles — they would not have been puzzling over them,” McCray continued. “GM had a whole exhibit on the honest about driverless automobiles known as ‘Futurama.'”

As for computer systems producing artwork, Harold Cohen has been doing that for many years, McCray identified.

Differentiating Science From Know-how

Science and expertise are conflated all through the survey, and they’re “completely not the identical factor,” mentioned McCray, who teaches undergraduate lessons on the historical past of science and the historical past of expertise.

Scientific analysis doesn’t mechanically result in advances in expertise, he identified.

The World Outdoors of Boffintopia

The survey ignored the deeper implications of adjustments in science and expertise, McCray noticed.

“There’s little or no thought given to what these adjustments imply by way of societal implications,” he defined. “Usually, when individuals are requested to take a position as to what they suppose the world goes to be like, they fairly often default to occupied with science and expertise, and very hardly ever do they give thought to social or political or financial adjustments.”

The 30 p.c or so of respondents who felt scientific and technological developments would make issues worse sooner or later represent “an enormous group,” Enderle instructed TechNewsWorld. They “will possible resist change for a wide range of causes,” together with non secular dogma.

Americans Find Future Tech Both Fascinating and Frightening


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