Washington, DC, March 1, 2019 — A recent Ipsos survey done on behalf of GET Creative, a division of USA TODAY NETWORK, and the Charles Koch Institute shows that Americans view technology as something that has improved their lives and will continue to do so into the future. Two-thirds of the country views technological advancement as having made their overall lives better compared to the lives of their parents. Americans see the biggest generational improvement due to technology in their ability to keep in touch with family and friends with 84% reporting that technology has made this aspect of their lives better. When considering the future of technological advancement, more than half (58%) expect their children’s overall lives to be made even better by technology. A further 70% 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 three-quarters (77%) 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%), the education system (87%), and the law and regulatory systems (81%) as the top three factors.
Americans are optimistic that future tech will arrive sooner rather than later. A strong majority expect package delivering flying drones (81%) and commercially available self-driving vehicles (71%) to arrive within their lifetime. Even longer-term technologies such as short-trip flying vehicles (42%) and underground car transport tunnels (33%) 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%). Despite this, Americans are more in favor of allowing market competition (87%) to drive innovation than using regulation as a means of preventing unforeseen problems in the technological mass market (55%).
About the Study
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted January 24-28, 2019 on behalf of GET Creative, a division of USA TODAY NETWORK, and the Charles Koch Institute. For the survey, a sample of roughly 2,014 adults 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study has a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,014, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/- 4 percentage points).
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About Ipsos Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.
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