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Poll: 39 Percent Of Americans Expect Teleportation Devices In Next 50 Years

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A majority of Americans say that the technological developments of the next 50 years will have a positive impact on society, with 59 percent holding an “optimistic” view of various future tech advances ranging from positive to downright pervasive. (credit: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

A majority of Americans say that the technological developments of the next 50 years will have a positive impact on society, with 59 percent holding an “optimistic” view of various future tech advances ranging from positive to downright pervasive. (credit: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A majority of Americans say that the technological developments of the next 50 years will have a positive impact on society, with 59 percent holding an “optimistic” view of various future tech advances ranging from positive to downright pervasive.

In a new Pew Research Center poll, eight-in-ten Americans expect that people needing new organs in the next 50 years will have them custom grown in a lab. About two-in-five Americans (39 percent) expect scientists to develop the ability to teleport objects, although only 3 percent said they would most like to own a teleportation device. One-third  (33 percent) of Americans expect that humans will have colonized other planets in the solar system, and about one-in-five Americans expect that humans will have the ability to control the weather in the next half-century.

However, 30 percent say many controversial technological advances will have a negative impact on human life.

Large percentages of Americans are troubled by some tech developments within medical or transportation fields, with many expressing concerns that the technology is simply unnatural:

Two-thirds of those surveyed say that society will be worse if prospective parents have the ability to alter the DNA of their children to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring – although more than one-quarter (26 percent) say this would be an improvement for society.

Sixty-five percent say society will decline if lifelike robots become the primary caregivers for the elder and people in poor health. More than half (53 percent) of Americans say it would be a change for the worse if most people wear implants or other devices that constantly show them information about the world around them – women were especially concerned by this technological possibility, while men were more optimistic about tech advances as a whole.

A vast majority (72 percent) of Americans said that are not interested in getting a brain implant that would improve their memory or mental capacity, but 26 percent said they would be interested.

The subject of much current debate, 63 percent of U.S. adults think it would be a change for the worse if “personal and commercial drones” are given permission to fly freely through U.S. airspace, but nearly one-third (30 percent) of people ages 18-29 think this would be an improvement. More Americans expressed that they are wary of drones rather than of wearable devices such as Google Glass.

More than half (51 percent) of Americans say that computers will soon create pieces of art such as music, novels, and paintings – that are indistinguishable from works created by human beings.

The American public is evenly divided on whether or not they would like to ride in a driverless car: 48 percent would be interested, while 50 percent would decline.

As far as future inventions that most Americans said they would personally like to own in the future: travel improvements including flying cars and bikes, time travel, and health improvements that would extend their lifespan or cure major diseases and viruses.

The Pew survey of scientific developments was conducted from Feb. 13-18 via phone to 1,001 U.S. adults.

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