Intel says consumers see a world of contradictions in new technology

American consumers are excited about the future potential of technology, but 40% believe emerging technologies will introduce as many new problems as solutions in the next 50 years. That’s according to Intel’s just-released Next 50 study  Even as consumers anticipate new technologies, they remain most excited about those that are most familiar. The survey revealed that:

  • 87% of consumers expect to rely most on smartphones in the future. Consumers also ranked PCs (84%) and smart home technology (84%) among the most important technologies in the next 50 years.
  • 51% of parents expect AI to increase their quality of life by enhancing and automating everyday tasks, compared to just 38% of respondents without kids.
  • 56% reported that they fear people will develop an overdependence on technology and will spend less time interacting with each other.

Despite these anxieties, consumers are still excited by emerging technologies that could help bring people together and create more time for connections, such as 5G networks and smart home technology:

  • 61% are somewhat or very excited about the potential of speedy 5G communications.
  • Millennials, in particular, are more optimistic about the future of 5G, with 45% saying it will bring people closer together by helping them to always be connected, as opposed to 35% for those aged 35 and older.
  • Today, only 18% of consumers heavily use technology to manage their homes, but 69% expect to do so within 50 years.

Emerging technologies have the potential to transform many aspects of our everyday life.  Studies like this remind us about the diversity of human experience. When we talk about the future of innovation, we’re talking about a range of ideas, technologies and attitudes that will impact our lives in important ways.

Genevieve Bell, vice president and senior fellow at Intel


The Next 50 Study was sponsored by Intel and developed by PSB. Read the full report.