from the promoting-paranoia dept.
According to the latest research from Pew Research Center, Americans are generally excited about the new technology they expect to see in their lifetimes but when confronted with some advances that already appear possible from skies filled with drones to meat made in a lab they get nervous. Overall, respondents were upbeat about how technology will shape the near future. In the report, 59% of Americans think tech developments will make life in the next half-century better, while only 30% said they will make life worse. But some of the advances that may be closest to becoming reality are the ones survey respondents were most worried about (PDF). Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if U.S. airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children. Only 37% of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time. People were split almost evenly (48%-50%) on whether they would ride in a driverless car. But only 26% said they'd get a brain implant to improve their memory or intelligence, and a mere 20% said they'd try eating meat made in a lab. Some 9% said they'd like to be able to time travel. A similar number said they'd like something that would keep them healthy or extend their lives, 6% said they wanted a flying car (or bike), 3% said they'd take a teleportation device and a mere 1% said they want their own jetpack.