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People in China feel the most positive about future technology and their job prospects, with 65 percent saying that innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will create career opportunities in the next five to 10 years, according to a report.
Attitudes to job prospects in China far outstrip the global average, with only 29 percent of 20,000 people across 10 countries surveyed by agency group Dentsu Aegis Network agreeing that emerging technologies would create new jobs.
Those in the U.K. and Germany are the most pessimistic of all, with only 18 percent of people in each country saying emerging tech will provide job opportunities. People in the U.S. are slightly more positive, with 23 percent of people agreeing.
China is heavily investing in a technological future. Its government said that it wants to be a 1 trillion yuan ($147.7 billion) world leader in AI by 2030, it announced last July, and said in January that it will build a state-backed $2.1 billion AI research and development park to house 400 tech businesses.
Meanwhile, academics in the U.S. have called for greater collective efforts by the government, companies and society when it comes to making automated technology available.
Chinese people also rate their employers' ability to tap into their tech knowhow, with 62 percent of those with average or above average digital abilities saying their bosses make it possible for them to use those skills. Only 32 percent of those in the U.S. and 26 percent in the U.K. feel the same, against a global average of 33 percent.
But those in China also feel pessimistic about technology in other ways, with 38 percent saying it has had a negative impact on their personal wellbeing, the highest of the countries surveyed.
When it comes to the use of personal information by companies, people around the world are skeptical, according to the research. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed in China believe that businesses are clear about use of their data, the highest proportion of the countries surveyed, but only 23 percent in the U.S. and 22 percent in the U.K. feel the same.
Tackling this means businesses must be more open in an era of fake news, the research suggests. "Transparency is emerging as a key differentiator as people realize there is a risk that you can trust something that isn't true," said report author Tim Cooper, global head of strategic communications at Dentsu Aegis Network.
The report, called the "Digital Society Index," includes an overall ranking of how countries are doing in the "digital economy." It looks at how fast each country's information and communications technology industry is growing, how much people have access to technology and the extent to which they trust businesses and governments with their personal data.
The U.K. comes out top of the list overall, with the U.S. and China following. The U.K. does particularly well when it comes to giving people access to tech, while the U.S. has the fastest growth in the sector. China ranks highest for trust.
Dentsu Aegis surveyed 20,000 people online in Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. in summer 2017. It used a combination of survey data and modeling by consultancy Oxford Economics to create its Digital Society Index.
A ranking of how well countries are moving to a new world of technology.