"Point Taken" Poll Asks: Is Technology "Dumbing Down" Society?

WGBH Boston commissioned the survey for its late-night PBS debate series
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BOSTON � Americans are split over how technology is impacting society as a whole, with 49% of those surveyed saying tech makes individuals less intelligent, and 46% saying technology makes people smarter. And just 51% of Americans say the benefits of technological advances outweigh the risks.

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That�s according to the results of a Point Taken-Marist poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its late-night�PBS�debate series�Point Taken, hosted by Carlos Watson, cofounder and CEO of OZY Media. The episode tackling the results of the poll will air June 21 at 11 p.m. ET.

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Perhaps surprisingly, the younger the survey respondent, the less likely they are to give technology the benefit of the doubt:�Millennials�(53%) and Gen X (53%) were more likely than Baby Boomers (48%) and the Silent/Greatest generation (38%) to say technology makes us less intelligent.

�If you think younger people are all in for technological revolution, think again,� said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement. �This national survey shows surprising differences among generations and their appreciation for innovation.�

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Gen X (50%) was the most likely to say technological risks outweigh the benefits. Men (55%) and college graduates (58%) were more likely than women (46%) and those without a degree (47%) to say technology�s benefits outweighed the risks.

Nearly three in four Americans said technology improves education, and 54% agreed that it makes individuals more productive. However, 71% said technology is making people less human, and 54% said it makes individuals less connected to friends and family.

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�Digital and other technologies are central and definitional aspects of contemporary life,� said�Point Taken�series creator Denise DiIanni.�This week our panelists � and audiences � debate whether tech makes us smarter � or dumber."

The survey was conducted in late March and included more than 622 adults.�

� B&C

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