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The Future of Digital Spaces and Their Role in Democracy

November 22, 2021

This is the 13th"Future of the Internet" canvassing Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center have conducted together to gather expert views about important digital issues. In this report, the questions focused on the prospects for improvements in the tone and activities of the digital public sphere by 2035. This is a nonscientific canvassing based on a nonrandom sample; this broad array of opinions about where current trends may lead in the next decade represents only the points of view of the individuals who responded to the queries.Pew Research Center and Elon's Imagining the Internet Center built a database of experts to canvass from a wide range of fields, inviting professionals and policy people based in government bodies, nonprofits and foundations, technology businesses and think tanks, as well as interested academics and technology innovators. The predictions reported here came in response to a set of questions in an online canvassing conducted between June 29 and Aug. 2, 2021.In all, 862 technology innovators and developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded to at least one of the questions covered in this report. More on the methodology underlying this canvassing and the participants can be found in the section titled "About this canvassing of experts."

The Internet and the Pandemic

September 1, 2021

Results from a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted April 12-18, 2021, reveal the extent to which people's use of the internet has changed, their views about how helpful technology has been for them and the struggles some have faced. 

The Internet of Things Connectivity Binge: What are the Implications?

June 1, 2017

Despite wide concern about cyberattacks, outages and privacy violations, most experts believe the Internet of Things will continue to expand successfully the next few years, tying machines to machines and linking people to valuable resources, services and opportunities.

Americans Divided on Whether Recent Science Protests Will Benefit Scientists' Causes

May 11, 2017

In the wake of April's marches for science and climate in Washington and around the country, Americans are divided in their support of the events' goals and their sense of whether it will make a difference. In particular, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Democrats and younger adults are convinced that these public events will help the causes of scientists. By contrast, Republicans and older adults believe the marches will not raise public support for scientists, aid efforts to increase government funding of science, enhance the role of scientists in policy debates or lead to increased efforts to combat global climate change.

Americans' Views on Open Government Data

April 21, 2015

Government reformers and advocates believe that two contemporary phenomena hold the potential to change how people engage with governments at all levels. The first is data. There is more of it than ever before and there are more effective tools for sharing it. This creates new service-delivery possibilities for government through use of data that government agencies themselves collect and generate. The second is public desire to make government more responsive, transparent and effective in serving citizens -- an impulse driven by tight budgets and declining citizens' trust in government.The upshot has been the appearance of a variety of "open data" and "open government" initiatives throughout the United States that try to use data as a lever to improve government performance and encourage warmer citizens' attitudes toward government.This report is based on the first national survey that seeks to benchmark public sentiment about the government initiatives that use data to cultivate the public square. The survey, conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, captures public views at the emergent moment when new technology tools and techniques are being used to disseminate and capitalize on government data and specifically looks at:People's level of awareness of government efforts to share dataWhether these efforts translate into people using data to track government performanceIf people think government data initiatives have made, or have the potential to make, government perform better or improve accountabilityThe more routine kinds of government-citizen online interactions, such as renewing licenses or searching for the hours of public facilities.

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters

February 20, 2014

Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. Six structures are regularly observed: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke structures. These are created as individuals choose whom to reply to or mention in their Twitter messages and the structures tell a story about the nature of the conversation

Reading Habits in Different Communities

December 20, 2012

Reading is foundational to learning and the information acquisition upon which people make decisions. For centuries, the capacity to read has been a benchmark of literacy and involvement in community life. In the 21st Century, across all types of U.S. communities, reading is a common activity that is pursued in myriad ways. As technology and the digital world expand and offer new types of reading opportunities, residents of urban, suburban, and rural communities at times experience reading and e-reading differently. In the most meaningful ways, these differences are associated with the demographic composition of differentkinds of communities -- the age of the population, their overall level of educational attainment, and the general level of household income.Several surveys by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project reveal interesting variations among communities in the way their residents read and use reading-related technology and institutions.

Cell Phone Activities 2012

November 25, 2012

Fully 85% of American adults own a cell phone and now use the devices to do much more than make phone calls. Cell phones have become a portal for an ever-growing list of activities. In nationally representative phone surveys in the spring and summer, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project obtained readings on some of the most popular activities.

The Future of Gamification

May 18, 2012

Presents survey findings on technology stakeholders' and critics' expectations for trends in the use of competitive "game mechanics" as interactive design elements and implications for education, health, work, and other activities. Excerpts comments.

The Future of Money in a Mobile Age

April 17, 2012

Presents survey findings on technology experts' views on the integration of mobile technology with financial services via smart devices, predicted penetration of "mobile wallets" as of 2020 by generation, and the implications. Excerpts survey responses.

Search Engine Use 2012

March 9, 2012

Presents survey findings about Americans' use of search engines and how they view their own Internet search abilities, search engine performance, and the collection of user information to personalize search results or target advertising.

The Future of the Internet: Millennials Will Benefit and Suffer Due to Their Hyperconnected Lives

February 29, 2012

Presents technology stakeholders' survey responses about whether the Millennial generation's always-on connection to people and information through social media, mobile Web, and multi-tasking will be a net positive or negative by 2020. Excerpts comments.