British people are particularly critical of the increasing influence of future technologies on various areas of life.

This is the result of a representative survey carried out by the polling organisation Ipsos on behalf of the Vodafone Institute. Only 38 percent of British people say that new technologies are an asset. Compared to the other EU countries polled, Bulgaria(57 percent), Sweden (45 percent), Italy (47 percent) and Germany (35 percent), this is the second lowest value.

When asked who should ensure the safe and sustainable use of new technologies, a complex picture emerges. 26 percent of British people think responsibility lies with government. 22 percent would trust consumers themselves with the responsibility, 19% have most confidence in consumer advocates and tech companies and only 14% would trust non-governmental organisations.

Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute, said: “There is a clear trend towards individual responsibility. When it comes to safety and sustainability, neither governments nor companies currently seem to be able to provide adequate answers to the challenges posed by new technologies.”

The study polled more than 5,000 people in Bulgaria, Germany, the UK, Italy and Sweden in February 2018. It also included questions about attitudes to other emerging technologies such as virtual reality, e-health, self-driving cars and drones.

The survey is the start of a large study to be published during the course of the year by the Vodafone Institute in conjunction with Ipsos, which will deal in greater detail with the issues raised here. This will look in greater depth at the issue of acceptance of and reservations about future technologies. In addition to the countries mentioned above, it will also include data collected from the USA and China.