More Americans worry that many new technologies are advancing too quickly as opposed to those who say technology is advancing too slowly because of regulations. But a strong majority of voters still believe the new technological advances are good for the country.
A new national survey by ScottRasmussen.com shows that 49% of Americans worry that new technologies will be deployed before they can be fully vetted. Twenty-three percent (23%) of respondents say they’re more worried that new technologies will be delayed by too many regulations.
But overall, 66% of Americans say new technological developments are good for the nation overall compared to just 12% who say they’re bad.
When voters are asked about specific new technologies, generally cautious attitudes hold steady with one exception.
More Americans say they are concerned that technologies are moving too fast as opposed to too slowly when asked about self-driving cars, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), facial recognition, social media platforms, genetically modified food (GMO), and GPS tracking (see crosstab results).
But when asked about health care technology, voter attitudes are completely different. Fifty-five percent (55%) say it’s moving too slowly compared to just 10% who say it’s advancing too fast.
While new technologies seem to be geared towards younger Americans, age seems to have played a very small role in responses to the survey. Two minor exceptions were that younger Americans tend to be less worried about self-driving car technology moving too quickly and older Americans tend to be a bit more likely to say they worry health care technology will be slowed by regulation.
The national survey of 1,001 Adults was conducted December 9-10, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Attitudes about technology seem to be cautiously optimistic over time. On the question of A.I., a ScottRasmussen.com survey conducted in late November showed that more voters believe Artificial Intelligence will be good for the economy, education, and health care than those who believe it will have a harmful effect.
The survey comes as more scrutiny is being applied to major tech companies by U.S. and European governments. Earlier this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was forced to defend his company’s record on user privacy and political bias before a House committee hearing.
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