tropical cyclone ita
Tropical Cyclone Ita in northern Queensland last week. Getty Images

A third of Americans think that futuristic technology will only bring misery, with advances such as teleportation and space colonisation making them worse off than they are today.

The national survey by the Pew Research Centre, asked people in the US about potential scientific developments, including space colonisation, teleportation and robots, and how they felt about them.

Eight out of 10 people said they believe custom grown human organs will be the norm within the next 50 years, while half say computers will be able to create artworks indistinguishable from those painted by man.

Four in ten people say they believe teleportation will have been invented by 2070, while a third expect to have colonised another planet. One in five also believe humans will be able to control the weather in the future.

In terms of what people would like to own, most people said they wanted flying cars or bikes, the ability to time travel or health improvements. One in ten Americans, however, said they are "not interested in futuristic inventions".

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"But at the same time that many expect science to produce great breakthroughs in the coming decades, there are widespread concerns about some controversial technological developments that might occur on a shorter time horizon," Pew said.

  • 66% think it would be a change for the worse if prospective parents could alter the DNA of their children to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring.
  • 65% think it would be a change for the worse if lifelike robots become the primary caregivers for the elderly and people in poor health.
  • 63% think it would be a change for the worse if personal and commercial drones are given permission to fly through most US airspace.
  • 53% of Americans think it would be a change for the worse if most people wear implants or other devices that constantly show them information about the world around them. Women are especially wary of a future in which these devices are widespread.