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A New Survey Shows Consumers Are Not That Freaked Out By Tech (fastcompany.com) 52

Lippincott, a global creative consultancy, asked 2,000 "leading edge" consumers in the U.S. whether they were excited to welcome our robot overlords or terrified of them. A report on FastCompany adds: Some of their findings go against conventional wisdom, like the belief that consumers are scared about the future. Turns out 80 percent said they are excited about changes in technology. Some 78 percent feel more powerful and in control of their lives thanks to the support from smart machines, artificial intelligence, and robotics. There is some anxiety about the incursion of tech into our lives, with over 40 percent reporting that they are scared about changes to the economy, society, culture, and the government. Despite that, 64 percent of them still expect that the world will be better in 10 years than it is today.
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A New Survey Shows Consumers Are Not That Freaked Out By Tech

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  • For a supposed bunch of tech enthusiasts, I see the most technophobia on this site. It's really quite pathetic. The government and advertisers aren't out to get you. You people are batshit crazy.

    • I don't know about slashdot users, but the main people I hear being afraid of AI are CEOs.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        I'm not afraid of AI - I'm afraid of the humans controlling AI, and the H1-B workers putting bugs in them.

        And for the GP troll, I think slashdotters are more worried about many technologies because they understand them, and how they can be abused. Some of us were part of creating such technologies, and know all the pitfalls. While the average man in the street doesn't know the details, and was surprised when batteries blew up or toys were subverted to creep on children.

    • It's not the tech itself that poses a problem, it the people ("What a bunch of bastards.)

      Tech is a force multiplier. It allows good people to do more good, and allows evil people to do more evil.

    • For a supposed bunch of tech enthusiasts, I see the most technophobia on this site. It's really quite pathetic.

      Every day that goes by, I see another company locking us out of our products for our own protection, and taking them away from us by force whenever they want.

      The electronic equivalent of book burning most definitely scares me. The only thing that's pathetic is that most technophiles I've come across never studied history and just don't give a damn.

  • All people really care about is will Skynet finally be the leader that delivers on its campaign promises, or will it just fold to special interests once it takes power?
  • I think humans have forgotten that the Earth doesn't give a damn about you and that just because you can post something that doesn't mean it changes anything other than perception and maybe influence social Darwinism. So, people have become docile with new tech and joking say "It's 1984," knowing lack of privacy and product control has gone to hell, which is fine as long as the ice doesn't melt and they get to have the latest iPhone.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wait...you mean all of the tabloid headlines are making this seem more horrible than it actually is? Could never have guessed that...

    The ALGORITHMS...them algorithms are coming to get us!

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @03:25PM (#54236421) Journal
    The vast majority of 'consumers' have no idea what's going on 'under the hood' of the hardware and software tech they're using and how the corporations that tech interacts with (or 'is ultimately controlled by', if you prefer), and if they did have a thorough understanding I guarantee you they'd be far less than 'happy' about it, they'd own less tech, and (with any luck at all) there'd be a strong outcry for vast, far-reaching reforms in the areas of product testing, product reliability, privacy, and security. I can also guarantee you that this would also very much include so-called 'self driving cars' and other areas of so-called 'machine intelligence' (I refuse to call it 'AI'). Corporations have no real legal, moral, or ethical responsibility for full disclosure about their products and practices to the public, and as a result people are lied to by way of omission every single day, all in the name of the Almighty Profit.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @04:07PM (#54236683) Journal

      The vast majority of 'consumers' have no idea what's going on 'under the hood' of the hardware and software tech they're using

      Same with us in IT. Over time there's more layers. Just the other day someone was helping me diagnose app performance problems on a given server. She discovered a problem in the virtual-server-to-physical-server translation layer, related to the file system.

      She was slinging server virtualization terms that were new to me. There's a new layer on the block and I know diddly squat about the details.

      And we have to rely ever more on JavaScript libraries to get the eye-candy UI's executives want to see in web pages, including "responsive" for diff device sizes. I'd like to dig into how those libraries work, but I got too many other projects; so I have to blindly trust those libraries.

      I was just reading about nostalgia for the Commodore-64 days among techies where one had almost full control of applications from machine-language and each pixel in the UI. I can see that other techies are also a bit unnerved by "layer-ification".

      More turtles will hop on the stack, get used to it. Most of us IT mortals can only master a handful of turtles. Eventually even the Sheldon-memory-level techies won't be able to keep up on all IT turtles.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @03:26PM (#54236425)
    2,000 "leading edge" consumers aren't scared of technology. Hmm. Talk about selecting the population for a survey so you get the results you are looking for.

    P.S. Dewey didn't beat Truman, even if the survey said he did.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lippincott, a global creative consultancy, asked 2,000 "leading edge" consumers in the U.S. whether they were excited to welcome our robot overlords or terrified of them.

    Well no shit. If you ask a bunch of people who already into a thing, if they are into a thing, it's a no brainer that your results will say that people are into that thing.

    In other news, a survey which asked 2,000 gay men if they like sex with other men, showed that men like sex with other men.

  • Ask some folks that are long haul truckers if they are scared of new technologies. Ask racists grandmas if they are scared of new technologies. Hell, just ask people that aren't subscribers to a technology magazine if they are scared of new technologies!

  • Is there some category of consumer behavior that isn't idiotic?
  • The masses still can configure or use anything because they do not bother with learning or even reading the manual.

    • "Reading the manual"? Please. One of the last manuals I got was written in Chinese. Lot of friggin' help that was. Good device though (digital projector). Just took some poking around forums to figure out the controls.
  • Automation taking enough jobs to destabilize society is a real possibility. It can be a good thing when machines do most the grunt work.

    However, if the wealth generated by machines is not sufficiently distributed, there will be major unrest. And idle people tend to get into trouble.

    There may be plenty of work in monitoring machines, people with problems, politicians, etc., but our society is not set up to allocate resources to such tasks.

    I don't know if the solution is "socialism" and make-work projects, o

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      When we're finally forced to give up the fantasy of wealth redistribution through employment we'll have to come up with a better system. That will probably involve some nastiness. But we'll be the better for it.

      It's not really new territory, we've been through it before. It's just that this time the usual solution, make-work, is probably going to be so obviously ridiculous nobody will buy it.

  • I'm pretty certain that the "leading edge consumers" aren't the ones who have the most to fear from/fear of robots.

  • We can expect a steady drip of articles such as this, intended to marginalize anyone who does not utterly embrace the technology that surrenders the intimate details of our lives. We're not supposed to care that this data is traded without our control, having ceded it to corporations only interested in maximizing profit. The curated walled gardens that congealed in the ashes of the free and open internet will boldly proclaim such news as trending, making sure as many people as possible realize that they rea

  • Probable bias: the same persons would probably have different answers when asked as consumers or as workers...

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