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Age in Place at Home - it's where you want to be.

June 2014

Twendy One: Human SYmbiotic Robot

American Views on Technology and the Future

Pew Research center asked Americans for their predictions about the long-term future of scientific advancement, and to share their own feelings and attitudes toward some new developments that might become common features of American life in the next 50 years.  Survey says:

Most Americans believe that the technological developments of the coming half-century will have a net positive impact on society.

59% are optimistic that coming technological and scientific changes will make life in the future better.

30% think these changes will lead to a future in which people are worse off than they are today.

Developments that were a cause of concern;

66% of Americans think it would be a change for the worse if prospective parents could alter the DNA of their children to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring.

65% think it would be a change for the worse if lifelike robots become the primary caregivers for the elderly and people in poor health.

63% think it would be a change for the worse if personal and commercial drones are given permission to fly through most U.S. airspace.

53% think 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 are especially wary of a future in which these devices are widespread.

Many Americans pair their long-term optimism with high expectations for the inventions of the next half century, even as they expect certain advancements (like controlling the weather) to remain outside the reach of science:

81% expect that within the next 50 years, people needing new organs will have them custom grown in a lab.

51% expect that computers will be able to create art that is indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

39% expect that scientists will have developed the technology to teleport objects.

33% expect that humans will have colonized planets other than Earth.

19% expect that humans will be able to control the weather in the foreseeable future.

The public is evenly divided on whether or not they would like to ride in a driverless car: 48% would be interested, while 50% would not. But significant majorities say that they are not interested in getting a brain implant to improve their memory or mental capacity (26% would, 72% would not) or in eating meat that was grown in a lab (just 20% would like to do this).

Asked to describe in their own words the futuristic inventions they themselves would like to own, the public offered three common themes:

1) travel improvements like flying cars and bikes, or even personal space crafts (19% mentioned this type of invention);

 2) the ability to travel through time (9%); and

 3) health improvements that extend human longevity or cure major diseases (9%).

Click here to read full report

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Quote of the Month

"Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.”

Steven Wright, comedian

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NYT: My Mother's Keepers by Janet Steen Illustration by Aidan Koch

"My parents had never made a lot of money. After my father died I saw that he’d been wearing shoes that had holes in the bottom; he hadn’t allowed himself to splurge on a new pair. But in what now seems like an outdated practice, they had slowly, over decades, socked some money away. It was staggering how quickly it went. My mother had some funds coming in every month from pensions and Social Security, but it wasn’t enough to cover costs (of her care related to Alzheimers). We sold my childhood home and much of that money went to her care. We sold her treasured violin at auction. It fetched over $50,000. That was all spent too."

Janet Steen: My Mother's Keepers

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Video: Building a Smart Home

Did You Know...

The 50+ demographic spends more than 5 hours per day using technology. 88% of participants say they consider themselves equally or more tech-savvy compared to others their age. Baby Boomer adults engage in online social activities, often take dangerous security risks that include giving out personal information to strangers.

Source: Research Brief: Center for Media Research

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