A recent study conducted by a group of artificial intelligence specialists from the United Kingdom and Japan has found that robots will likely take over almost 39% of the time spent on household chores within the next ten years. The study, published in PLoS ONE, suggests that AI may assist in handling many of the unpaid domestic activities that currently consume many hours of our days.
The research team consulted 29 AI specialists from the United Kingdom and 36 experts from Japan to forecast how “automatable” 17 different home and care jobs would become over the following decade. The findings showed that grocery shopping was the task most likely to be automated, while physical childcare was the least automatable.
The study’s authors note that the sample size is too small to apply the project’s findings to all AI professionals because it is not statistically representative of the field. However, they emphasize that these forecasts actively shape the future of employment and suggest that it is crucial to increase the gender and cultural diversity of future research.
An earlier survey found that individuals in the United Kingdom between the ages of 15 and 64 typically devote roughly 43% of their job and study time to household activities that are not paid. Working-age men take around half as long as working-age women to complete these chores in the UK alone. Compared to Japanese women, Japanese males spend just 18% more time on household chores.
The study’s authors hypothesize that more British specialists expect automation to replace domestic work because technology is more directly linked to labor replacement in the UK than in Japan. Additionally, British men tend to be more positive about the automation of housework than their female counterparts, while the pattern is flipped among Japanese tech specialists, with women being slightly more upbeat.
In conclusion, while robots are expected to take over a majority of household chores by 2033, the study’s authors emphasize the need to increase diversity in future research to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the implications of automation.