According to experts, 39% of the time spent on household chores and caring for loved ones might be automated within the next ten years.
65 experts in artificial intelligence (AI) were consulted by researchers from the UK and Japan to make predictions about how much common household work will be automated in the next ten years.
While care for the young or elderly was anticipated to be least likely to be affected by AI, experts indicated that grocery shopping was likely to witness the most automation.
The researchers noted that robots “for domestic home duties,” including robot vacuum cleaners, “have become the most extensively made and sold robots in the world.”
For their predictions on robots in the house, the team consulted 29 AI specialists from the UK and 36 AI experts from Japan.
Researchers discovered that Japanese experts were more pessimistic about home automation than their male counterparts, but the opposite was true in the UK.
Yet, the duties that experts believed robots could perform varied: According to Dr. Lulu Shi, a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Institute for the Internet, “just 28% of care work, encompassing activities like educating your kid, escorting your child, or taking care of an elderly relative, is projected to be automated.”
On the other hand, scientists predicted that technology will reduce our time spent food shopping by 60%.
Yet, there has been a long history of claims that robots will relieve us of household duties “in a decade’s time” (ten years), so some scepticism may be justified. Tomorrow’s World, a 1960s television programme, featured a home robot that could undertake a variety of household chores, including cooking, walking the dog, watching the baby, shopping, and mixing drinks.
According to the research, household automation might free up much of the time currently devoted to unpaid domestic labour. Men of working age perform less than a fifth of this unpaid labour in Japan compared to women of working age, who perform around half as much of it in the UK.
According to Prof. Hertog, the unequal amount of domestic labour that falls on women has an adverse effect on their income, savings, and pensions. Therefore, the researchers argue that increasing automation could lead to greater gender equality.
But the cost of technology might be high. According to Prof. Hertog, increasing disparities in free time will result if systems to help with housekeeping are only accessible to a portion of society.
She also stated that society must be aware of the problems caused by intelligent technology in homes, “where a version of Alexa is capable of listening in and sort of capturing what we’re doing and posting back.