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Pew Research Center studied the reasons behind why and when Americans choose to shop online vs. in physical stores. Studies conducted by the Center indicated price to be the most important factor in determining whether people chose to shop online or in physical stores. Separately, buying an item for the first time increased the likelihood that a person purchased the item in person rather than online.
Overall adoption of broadband internet and smartphone ownership have grown quickly over the past thirty years, including for lower-income populations. Still, a gap exists in digital ownership and access between lower-income and higher-income Americans.
"To gauge the opinions of everyday Americans on this complex and far-reaching topic, the survey presented respondents with four different scenarios relating to automation technologies. Collectively, these scenarios speak to many of the hopes and concerns embedded in the broader debate over automation and its impact on society. The scenarios included: the development of autonomous vehicles that can operate without the aid of a human driver; a future in which robots and computers can perform many of the jobs currently done by human workers; the possibility of fully autonomous robot caregivers for older adults; and the possibility that a computer program could evaluate and select job candidates with no human involvement."
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