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According to expert opinion, in ten years’ time approximately 39% of all domestic chores will be automated. Researchers from the UK and Japan interviewed 65 artificial intelligence experts and many of them were of the opinion that common household tasks will be done by robots by 2033.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and Japan’s Ochanomizu University asked 29 AI experts from the UK and 36 AI experts from Japan for their forecasts on robots in the home. Experts predicted grocery shopping was likely to see the most automation, while caring for the young or old was the least likely to be impacted by AI. Researchers also found that male UK experts tended to be more optimistic about domestic automation compared with their female counterparts, a situation reversed in Japan, as reported on by the BBC.

Ekaterina Hertog, associate professor in AI and Society at Oxford University and one of the study authors draws parallels with the optimism which has long surrounded self-driving cars: “The promise of self-driving cars, being on the streets, replacing taxis, has been there, I think, for decades now – and yet, we haven’t been able quite to make robots function well, or these self-driving cars navigate the unpredictable environment of our streets. Homes are similar in that sense”.

Dr Kate Devlin, reader in AI and Society at King’s College, London – who was not involved in the study – suggests technology is more likely to help humans, rather than replace them: “It’s difficult and expensive to make a robot that can do multiple or general tasks. Instead, it’s easier and more useful to create assistive technology that helps us rather than replaces us,” she said.

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