Essential Report

Likelihood of technological change

Nov 24, 2015

Q. Do you think the following technological changes are likely to happen or unlikely to happen in the next 50 years?

          Likely to happen
  Likely to happen Unlikely to happen Don’t know   Men Women Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
People needing an organ transplant will have new organs made for them in a laboratory 73% 13% 15%   72% 73% 66% 70% 84%
Parents will be able to alter the DNA of their offspring before birth to produce smarter, healthier children 53% 29% 18%   48% 57% 48% 58% 50%
Computers will be as effective as people in creating music, novels, movies and paintings 48% 36% 16%   48% 48% 41% 51% 53%
People will be able to live to 150 years old 25% 58% 17%   25% 25% 26% 26% 23%
Humans will live in colonies on other planets 22% 59% 18%   24% 20% 22% 26% 18%
Humans will be able to control the weather 11% 77% 12%   12% 11% 11% 14% 8%

More than half think it is likely that, in the next 50 years, people needing an organ transplant will have new organs made for them in a laboratory (73%) and parents will be able to alter the DNA of their offspring before birth to produce smarter, healthier children (53%). About half (48%) think that computers will be as effective as people in creating music, novels, movies and paintings.

More than half think it is unlikely that humans will be able to control the weather (77%), humans will live in colonies on other planets (59%) or that people will be able to live to 150 years old (58%).

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