Two-thirds of the country views technological advancement as having made their overall lives better compared to the lives of their parents, according to an Ipsos survey done on behalf of GET Creative, a division of USA TODAY NETWORK and the Charles Koch Institute.
Americans see the biggest generational improvement due to technology in their ability to keep in touch with family and friends with 84 percent reporting that technology has made this aspect of their lives better. When considering the future of technological advancement, 58 percent expect their children’s overall lives to be made even better by technology. A further 70 percent expect their children to have an even better ability to keep in touch with family and friends compared to their own experiences.
Innovation and progress is woven into the fabric of society in the eyes of many Americans. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe that innovation is a big part of American culture and history with 77 percent believing the United States is one of the world’s leaders in innovation. Americans tend to believe that the country has attained its status as a leader of innovation through a variety of existing factors including the American entrepreneurial spirit (90 percent), the education system (87 percent) and the law and regulatory systems (81 percent) as the top three factors.
Americans are optimistic that future tech will arrive sooner rather than later. 81 percent expect package delivering flying drones and 71 percent expect commercially available self-driving vehicles to arrive within their lifetime. Even longer-term technologies such as short-trip flying vehicles (42 percent) and underground car transport tunnels (33 percent) are seen as viable lifetime innovations for more than a third of Americans.
In terms of regulation, Americans generally believe that there is too much power and wealth controlled by a few highly innovative companies (77 percent). Despite this, Americans are more in favor of allowing market competition (87 percent) to drive innovation than using regulation as a means of preventing unforeseen problems in the technological mass market (55 percent).
The study shows Americans view technology as something that has improved their lives and will continue to do so into the future.