The Forbes ASAP "What Is True?" Poll
Edited by Andrew Freiburghouse
Poll conducted by Zogby International
John Zogby: "It seemed to us that new technologies present serious
challenges to what people perceive as real, and so we decided to ask about
them. This poll pointed out the impact new technologies might have on
the authenticity of our lives. For example, four out of five are unlikely
to use virtual sex partners, even if those partners look the "way
you want and feel human" and have "no risk of disease or emotional
attachments." And while 55% would be likely to engage in virtual
travel, by a ratio of 4 to 1 they feel someone who did so should be labeled
as less authentic. People seem to think that technology has the power
to diminish authenticity."
1,021 adult Americans were surveyed for this poll and consisted of 35%
Democrats, 38% Republicans, 22% Independents, and 5% other; 88% Caucasian,
4.6% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 1.6% Hispanic, and 4% other; and 40%
male, 60% female.
Poll Questions and Responses:
(1) How likely would you be to use microscopic computers floating through
your body that would detect disease or injury immediately?
Very Likely 33.2%
Somewhat Unlikely 8.5%
Very Unlikely 28.6%
(2) How likely would you be to use virtual travel, whereby you could visit
any location in the world and experience tastes, smells, and sounds without
the hassles of traveling?
Very Likely 28.9%
Somewhat Likely 26.1%
Very Unlikely 35.0%
39.1% of married people chose Very Unlikely.
(3) How likely would you be to use virtual food, whereby you could experience
eating anything you want and not worry about guilt or calories?
Very Likely 30.1%
Somewhat Likely 19.0%
Very Unlikely 40.5%
38.3% of women would give it a try.
(4) How likely would you be to install knowledge or learning chips into
your brain that would allow you to learn anything immediately?
Very Likely 16.4%
Somewhat Likely 19.5%
Very Unlikely 52.0%
31.9% of 18- to 24-year-olds chose Very Likely.
(5) How likely would you be to have virtual sex partners who would look
the way you want, and act and feel human, and there would be no risk of
disease or emotional attachment?
Very Likely 8.7%
Very Unlikely 69.6%
7.6% of senior citizens answered "Bring it on!"
(6) How likely would you be to download your brain onto a computer disk
so that you could become pure energy and virtually live forever?
Very Likely 5.2%
Very Unlikely 80.0%
15.7% of non-high school graduates would do it, compared to just 3.8%
of college graduates; 88.2% of the 65+ crowd said they wouldn't even think