Zogby International recently conducted a poll of American adults asking how likely they are to be interested in having assistive microchips implanted in their brains. Would people be interested in having the Internet wired straight to their brains, or perhaps a chip that programs the immune system to ward off all disease? Turns out that up to a quarter of the population seems willing to do it, given enough practical benefit from the implantation.
John Zogby analyzes the findings at Forbes.com:
A quick analysis reveals a hierarchy of needs. One in four would be open to allowing an artificial intelligence into his or her body to ward off disease (and possibly mortality itself). Slightly fewer are so sure knowledge is power that they too would want the chip implant. But only 6% would want a computer chip just to be entertained. Being wired to the Internet can satisfy a lot of needs, both practical and prurient. So the fact that we found 13% who might want to turn themselves into Me.com makes some sense in this needs hierarchy.
We don’t know how many would-be cyberheads might actually go through with this when the hypothetical physician enters the room with surgical lasers and nano-sized computer chips in hand. But we can certainly draw conclusions from our polls about which demographic groups are most open to being hooked up to the Internet and computer technology. This is especially true in the survey of 41,175, where sub-group sizes are in the thousands.
If your first guess is that younger people are the most likely, you are correct, but only to a degree. On being wired to the Internet, the First Global generation of 18- to 29-year-olds is the leader at 24%. The percentages decline with age to only 8% of people 65 and older. First Globals are also more likely than the other age groups to want the entertainment chip, but that number is still only 10%. First Globals are about 5% more likely to want the knowledge chip. However, there is no age difference on the immunity chip question.