New study reveals a startling distrust of modern technology among Americans
A new survey by Washington DC think tank the PEW Research Center shows that despite the USA's leadership in modern technology, more Americans seem to have become distrustful of advanced technologies.
One third of Americans surveyed think that technology will lead to changes that are bad for society and their lives. About 8 in 10 respondents said they won't eat meat grown in a lab. Three quarters said they'll refuse a brain implant that improves their memory or mental capacity.
Two thirds said robot caregivers for the elderly are a bad idea while two thirds said that parents shouldn't be allowed to alter the DNA of their prospective children. Again, two thirds said that America would be worse if personal or delivery drones were legalized.
Americans are more likely to say that they would not ride in a driverless car. And 53 percent said body hacking would make our lives worse. Body hacking consist of techniques that can allegedly improve a person's life, health or mental state.
Oddly enough, Americans are somewhat optimistic about America's technological capabilities despite their rising technophobia. Looking 50 years into the future, one in five Americans believe we'll be able to completely control the weather.
Some 80 percent think we'll grow custom-made organs in a laboratory for transplantation. Half of Americans think computers will make art just as well as humans do. A third believe we'll have long-term space colonies, while 39 percent believe we'll be able to teleport objects.
Young Americans don't seem to be that impressed by technology, however. The survey showed that 59 percent of people between 18-29 said technology will make their lives better, the same percentage as those aged 50-64.
Overall, however, Pew said Americans anticipate that the coming half-century will be a period of profound change as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage.
It noted that most Americans anticipate that the technological developments of the coming half-century will have a net positive impact on society. Some 59 percent are optimistic that coming technological and scientific changes will make life in the future better.
Some 30 percent, however, think these changes will lead to a future in which people are worse off than they are today.