Poll: Next Bill Gates Likely From China or Japan
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A New Zogby/463 survey finds Americans bullish on the Internet, if not the future of U.S. tech education.
Almost half of all Americans believe the next Bill Gates will come from either China or Japan, according to a new poll to be released Wednesday. Only 21 percent believe the next great technology leader will come from the United States.
The Internet Attitudes poll by Zogby and 463 Communications tested Americans' views on their perceptions of technology and the Internet. Washington-based 463 is a communications firm with a number of technology clients.
When asked from which country the next Bill Gates will come from, Americans picked China (26.7 percent), Japan (22.4), U.S. (20.8) and India (13.0).
"The next Bill Gates has already been born, and time will tell what country is providing the environment of innovation, entrepreneurism and opportunity to enable him or her to flourish with the next great idea," 463 partner Tom Galvin said in a statement accompanying the poll.
The poll also shows an overwhelming 83 percent of Americans think a typical 12-year-old knows more about the Internet than their member of Congress. That said, Americans gave the nod to Democrats (29.7 percent) over Republicans (20 percent) as to which party has a "better grasp of the Internet and its importance."
Almost 70 percent believe new camera technologies and the Internet are turning Americans into a nation of "voyeurs and paparazzis," but 75 percent would still rather watch the evening news coverage of an event than the work of citizen video journalists.
A fourth of adults 18-49, though, would choose citizen videos while 30 percent of self-described "progressives" preferred citizen video. Only 11 percent of those describing themselves "very conservative" showed a preference for videos.
Americans are bullish on the Internet, according to the poll, with 66 percent predicting that in 10 years there would be no place in the world without an Internet connection. A third believe the Internet is a greater invention than the printing press. While whites (69 percent) and African Americans (57 percent) chose the printing press over the Internet, Hispanic Americans 57 percent) chose the Internet and Asian Americans (85 percent) overwhelmingly picked the Internet over Gutenberg's invention.
Nevertheless, Americans have their limits when it comes to the Internet.
When asked which would be harder on their work the car not starting or losing an Internet connection and access to e-mail, almost 80 percent of Americans stood by their automobiles.
The nationwide telephone survey of 1,203 adults was conducted from Dec. 5-8 and has a margin of error of 2.9 points.