As recently as 1995, 42 percent of American adults said they had never heard of the Internet.  Today, use of the Internet is pervasive at home, work, and on mobile devices.

It is a primary source of news, information, entertainment, and social interaction.  To understand its evolution, Pew conducts surveys and qualitative research that tracks and analyzes how Americans use digital technology, and the ways in which online activity affects their families, communities, health, educational pursuits, politics, and workplace activities.

Recent Work

June 16, 2021 Acknowledgments

We are extremely thankful for the contributions of the people who participated in this canvassing. This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Primary researchers Lee Rainie, Director, Internet and Technology ResearchJanna Anderson, Director, Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center        Emily A. Vogels, Research Associate                                                             Editorial and graphic […]

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June 16, 2021 4. Could a quantum leap someday aid ethical AI?

As they considered the potential evolution of ethical AI design, the people responding to this canvassing were given the opportunity to speculate as to whether quantum computing (QC), which is still in its early days of development, might somehow be employed in the future in support of  the development of ethical AI systems. In March […]

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June 16, 2021 1. Worries about developments in AI

It would be quite difficult – some might say impossible – to design broadly adopted ethical AI systems. A share of the experts responding noted that ethics are hard to define, implement and enforce. They said context matters when it comes to ethical considerations. Any attempt to fashion ethical rules generates countless varying scenarios in […]

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June 16, 2021 Experts Doubt Ethical AI Design Will Be Broadly Adopted as the Norm Within the Next Decade

A majority worries that the evolution of artificial intelligence by 2030 will continue to be primarily focused on optimizing profits and social control. Still, a portion celebrate coming AI breakthroughs that will improve life.

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June 16, 2021 5. About this canvassing of experts

This report is the second of two reports issued in 2021 that share results from the 12th “Future of the Internet” canvassing by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center. The first report examined the “new normal” for digital life that could exist in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak […]

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June 16, 2021 3. Cross-cutting and novel statements

A number of the respondents wrote about cross-cutting themes, introduced novel ideas or shared thoughts that were not widely mentioned by others. This section features a selection of that material. Questions about AI figure into the grandest challenges humans face Michael G. Dyer, professor emeritus of computer science at UCLA, expert in natural language processing, […]

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June 16, 2021 2. Hopes about developments in ethical AI

Early developments in AI have been of overwhelmingly great importance and value to society. Most of the experts responding to this canvassing – both the pessimists and the optimists – expect that it will continue to provide clear benefits to humanity. Those who are hopeful argue that its advance will naturally include mitigating activities, noting […]

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June 3, 2021 Methodology

The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 25-Feb. 8, 2021, among a national sample of 1,502 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (300 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,202 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 845 who […]

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