It is not certain what the first robot in the world was. The Greek Archytas is often mentioned as one of the first. In the fourth century BC, a bird-like robot was designed that was able to fly on electricity. In addition, Heron of Alexandria designed an automatic theater in the first century AD.
Nowadays, developments in the field of robotics are moving at lightning speed. 29 AI experts from the UK and 36 experts from Japan were optimistic about robots taking over household chores.
According to the experts, we could automate 39% of household chores in 10 years. Household chores include shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Shopping, in particular, can easily be taken over by robots or algorithms.
Tests are currently being carried out in which you receive a diverse number of products for different subscriptions. Algorithms can predict when a certain person will need a certain product. This test is called ‘anticipatory shipping’.
Benefits of automation
This development can be seen as positive. Spending less time on household chores means you have more time to do fun things. On average, the Dutch spend about 21 hours a week on washing, cleaning, shopping, etc. This amounts to about 3 hours a day.
Despite the fact that women work more and more often, the work at home is often unevenly distributed. It has been found that in heterosexual couples, women spend an average of 4.5 hours a day on household chores. This is only 2.5 hours for a man. Women therefore clearly spend more time on domestic work and caring for and raising the children, among other things. With the automation of household chores, there will be more equality between men and women.
Are there also disadvantages?
As with so many technological developments, the major drawback is the collection of data. In this situation too, the smart technology will need a lot of information. For example, children do not give permission for their data to be collected. Nevertheless, in this case it is essential that household technologies are aware of it.
Another disadvantage is the potential inequality between rich and poor. Especially when the smart household technologies are just on the market, a high price will be asked. More prosperous households have more money to spend on, for example, automating tasks at home. Finally, this will mean that domestic help will eventually die out.