What we dream and what we are afraid of: the result of the analysis of 3 million publications over the past 10 years

    What areas of progress are causing enthusiasm in mankind, which are fear and fear? Which countries are optimistic about certain technologies, and which are pessimistic? ABBYY specialists analyzed a database of three million materials of scientific, state, public and value reflection on development in the media for the period 2005 - 2015.

    Mankind is waiting for a cure for cancer and is interested in space, discusses interference in the human genome and is not sure of the security of its consciousness and brain.


    According to research, mankind is constantly worried about technological challenges related to health and medicine, education, the impact of technology on culture and values, the role of state regulation of science and technology. Compared to 2005, humanity has become twice as worried about how digital technology is changing our lives.

    The main fears of mankind are the inability of science and medicine to defeat a number of diseases, including cancer and tuberculosis , and the inability to eliminate the risks of war and terrorism. In the semantic field “threat”, the concepts associated with these two challenges occupy 19% and 18%, respectively.

    While Canada, the UK and the Netherlands are focused on discussing the risks and problems associated with technology, Russia, Switzerland and Singapore, on the contrary, see prospects in innovation and technology. Russia, China and Asian countries discuss the prospects and possibilities of robotics. The EU is focused on threats and risks, people are worried about possible unemployment. In every fourth text, the issue of unemployment is adjacent to the development of robotics .

    Experts expected to see a lot of attention to the topic of artificial intelligence , but the results surprised them: only 0.2% of the total array of publications devoted to this topic. Most often, artificial intelligence is spoken in the USA, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

    The revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013 led to an explosion of negativity regarding a “bright digital future” around the world. Humanity is extremely unsure of the security of its consciousness and brain: 1.3% of the total base of articles are devoted to the topic of risks that a technological explosion carries to our consciousness.

    Scientists' interest in the problem of GMOs fades after the peak in 2012. To feed the multi-billion population is more important than doubt, now we are not afraid to create modified tomatoes. On the contrary, one of the fastest growing challenges mentioned is the interference of genetic modification technologies, in particular, human genetic editing, in human life . The concern of scientists on this topic has doubled around the world in seven years.

    The state and its function in the innovation environment causes irritation in a bizarre set of countries: here are the USA, Great Britain, Russia, India, and Iran. In China and Korea, the state as a participant in innovative development is neutral, and in Israel and Japan they tend to believe in its smart power in matters of progress.

    Security threats associated with the risks of war and terror have both the highest rating and the steadily growing dynamics of interest.

    The interest in space is huge - 0.43% of all texts are devoted to it. This is 2.5 times the total number of texts about cancer drugs. Technological challenges associated with the health industry represent 2% of the total body of information analyzed.

    Five Topics

    5th place: the influence of the technological revolution on the mind and brain
    8.1% of the total volume of texts are devoted to the influence of the technological revolution on the mind and brain. The issue of schizophrenia excites people more than unemployment. Especially about these problems worry in the USA, Europe and Japan.

    4th place: digital nudity The
    Internet is already within the boundaries of a person’s private life. If at the beginning of the XXI century, only a few spoke about this, now - 9.1% of publications are devoted to this topic. It's about interfering in your personal life and about cybercrime.

    3rd place: war and terror
    10% of publications are related to security threats, wars and terror. Bursts of fear are associated with the advent of high-tech and immoral weapons - drones, cruise missiles. Experts fear new technologies in these areas.

    2nd place: the role of the state
    10.2% of publications relate to the field of state effectiveness in technological development. At the same time, 40% of them see the state in a negative light. They are neutral in China, while Israel and Japan tend to believe in the wise power of the state. The key complaint of state critics is tight planning. Others see financing as his pluses and - again - planning.

    1st place: health
    The most important topic for mankind is the health industry, 12.6% of the materials analyzed wrote about this. People care about the inability of science to defeat certain diseases. The most anticipated discovery in the last thirty years remains a cure for cancer .

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