When will we be able to hail an autonomous robo-taxi…grow great-tasting steak from stem cells in a lab…connect the human brain to the cloud so you can Google just by thinking?
Significant numbers of Americans are less than optimistic that these capabilities will be possible anytime soon or even in their lifetimes, even though some of these technologies are already available in limited capacities. Authors of the new book, The Future is Faster Than You Think. Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler conducted a survey to determine whether Americans are ready for the technological shifts that are rapidly progressing and, in some cases, already here.
Among the findings:
- Seven out of 10 American adults surveyed do not believe flying cars will be transporting people in downtown cities like L.A. and Dallas in their lifetimes
- Almost half of those surveyed believe artificial intelligence won’t be smarter than humans in their lifetimes
- Less than one quarter of those surveyed believe human gene editing technology will allow us to eliminate most genetic diseases in the next decade
- More than 70% of American adults surveyed do not believe in their lifetime that their brain can be connected to a computer information cloud so they can Google info by merely thinking
These views contradict the reality—which is one of the key takeaways in The Future is Faster Than You Think. The book demonstrates how major technological innovations like flying cars and virtual shopping malls will likely become a reality within the next decade, if not sooner.
“Disruption and democratization of technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality will lead to extraordinary growth and transformation,” said Diamandis, who is also founder of several innovative businesses and organizations, including XPRIZE Foundation and Singularity University. “These converging technologies will transform every industry and create tremendous opportunity for those who choose to take advantage of it.”
For the 10-question survey, the 2,663 total participants were asked to predict when a certain milestone would take place—drones will deliver a McDonald’s meal to your home; the average healthy lifespan will increase from mid-70s (today) to 100+ years old. Participants had the option to pick one of the following answers: now, by 2030, by 2040 or not in my lifetime.
“We want what’s in this book to serve as a warning shot to business leaders who like many American adults don’t realize how fast technology will transform the world we all inhabit,” said Kotler, the book’s co-author who is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist and founder and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. “Business leaders and the rest of us can either learn how to ride the tsunami of change or get crushed by it.”
A Google survey of U.S.-only users was conducted between Friday, January 17, 2020 through, Monday, January 20, 2020. There were 2,663 total participants who responded to some or all of 10 multiple-choice survey questions in this period. The 10 questions tasked participants to choose whether certain technological advancements would be readily available to them at some point between now and beyond their lifetimes. Participants surveyed were all 18 years of age or older and varied by race/gender.