Access and Feeds

Technology of the Future: People are both Fascinated and Apprehensive of the Possibilities

By Dick Weisinger

A recent study by Pew Research looked at people’s hopes and views about the future and the role that technology will play in it.  The results show a conflict in the way that people think.  On the one hand, there is a fascination about the possibilities,and on the other, there is a sense of worry about the potential dark side that some dramatic technology advances will bring about.

Interestingly, people expressed the most concern about technologies that are likely to be realized in the relatively short term.  There was much less apprehension about technologies that will likely take significantly longer to be realized.

Some of the results of the report include:

  • 66 percent of people think that altering the DNA of children so as to make them smarter, healthier and more athletic is a bad idea.
  • 63 percent don’t like the idea of personal and commercial drones flying in US air space.
  • 53 percent say that implants and wearable devices like Google Glass is not a good idea.

Aaron Smith, a Pew senior researcher and author of the report, said that “in the long run, Americans are optimistic about the impact that scientific developments will have on their lives and the lives of their children — but they definitely expect to encounter some bumps along the way.  They are especially concerned about developments that have the potential to upend long-standing social norms around things like personal privacy, surveillance, and the nature of social relationships.”

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