Within a decade, around 39 percent of the time spent on doing domestic chores such as housework and caring for loved ones, could be automated, experts have said, adding that 27 percent could be automated within five years.
As part of a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the UK and Japan asked 65 artificial intelligence (AI) experts to predict the amount of automation in common household tasks in 10 years. They predicted that most people are likely to rely on AI to shop for groceries and the least to care for young children or the elderly.
Robots "for domestic household tasks", such as robot vacuum cleaners "have become the most widely produced and sold robots in the world" researchers from the University of Oxford and Japan's Ochanomizu University observed. But they wanted to fund out what impact robots might have on unpaid domestic work: "If robots will take our jobs, will they at least also take out the trash for us?" they asked.
The team asked 29 AI experts from the UK and 36 AI experts from Japan for their forecasts on robots in the home.
"The most automatable task was seen to be grocery shopping, of which 59 percent was considered automatable within ten years; the least automatable task was physical childcare, at 21 percent," the study found.
"In general, care work was predicted to be more difficult to automate, with an average estimate of 28 percent in ten years, while housework was seen as more readily automatable, at 44 percent."
The differences between task types are in line with what experts held that “routine” work is more susceptible to automation than “nonroutine” work. And complex problem-solving and communication appear to be particularly resistant to automation.
When asked why care work was more difficult for AI to execute, experts said that the task focuses on social interaction and the challenges are not technical in nature -- something which is easier for AI to grasp.