Americans tend to be optimists when it comes to new technologies. According to a new Pew Research Center survey in partnership with Smithsonian Magazine, 59% of Americans think scientific and technological innovations over the next half-century will, overall, improve people’s lives. We recently asked Americans about their views on a variety of scientific developments, including some innovations that are already moving out of the lab and into the real world, such as Japan’s robotic attendants for the elderly and self-driving cars.

We also asked Americans how likely they thought five things were to happen by 2064. Here’s what they said, presented in the order of those that Americans think most “definitely” and “probably” will happen, as well as a summary of current developments and research:

1People in need of an organ transplant will have new organs custom-made for them in a lab.

organ creation in lab pew report
Dr. Anthony Atala holds the scaffolding for a human kidney created by a 3-D printer in a laboratory. Credit: Allen Breed/AP/Corbis

What the public says: 22% definitely will happen, 60% probably will happen

What science says: The first lab-grown bladders were transplanted into patients in 2006. A Boston company, Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, is building synthetic tracheas by growing a patient’s own stem cells on lab-made scaffolding in “bioreactors.” HART says its proprietary technology “gives us substantial expertise and intellectual property for developing products addressing diseases impacting other organs like the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, heart valves, and heart.” Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine at the Texas Heart Institute, has built “bioartificial” hearts from rat tissues, and is testing the approach with other organs. She expects it will be at least a decade before such hearts would be ready for clinical tryouts, but simpler tissues such as blood vessels and cardiac valves could be in use sooner. And just last week came news that four teenage girls have received artificial vaginas grown from their own cells.

2 Computers will be as effective as people at creating important works of art.

computer generated artwork
“Sadness” by the Emotionally Aware Painting Fool. Credit: Professor Simon Colton

What the public says: 16% definitely, 35% probably

What science says: Artistic judgments on “importance” are best left to critics. However, Simon Colton, a British computer scientist, has developed The Painting Fool, software he says generates its own artwork and can digitally “paint” in several styles. Programmers at the University of Malaga in Spain have created Iamus, described as “the first computer-composer that doesn’t require any human intervention” (you can listen to one of its compositions, for harpsichord and viola d’amore,