One of the more significant elements of AI and IoT is the rise in automation technology, with the use of robots in particular having risen substantially between 2016 and 2017. According to Statista, the worldwide shipment of robots has risen from 294,000 to 387,000 - a huge number in a relatively small period of time.
This rise in industrial robotics has led to an increased interest in the use of robots in our everyday lives as well. While this technology is being designed to make our lives easier, how do people feel about the rise of robotics?
The capability of robots in the near future
From a long-term perspective, as technology develops there is a very high ceiling on the tasks that robots can realistically perform. At present, however, robotics are mostly used in an industrial setting, particularly for manufacturing.
As this technology continues to develop, in the near future, many experts believe that robotics will be more capable at assisting with everyday tasks domestically and at work - particularly household chores and other manual tasks.
This increased capability of robots has led to a dividing of opinion amongst the public, so how do people feel about robots, and what tasks are people most comfortable with a robot performing?
What the public thinks of robots around the home
In a study of people’s opinions towards the increase of robotics, there was a mixed attitude towards this technological development. While 34% of those surveyed believed that robots would make everyday life better, 32% disagreed, believing that robots would instead disrupt their lives.
A considerable element of this opinion seemed to be rooted in a fear of job loss, with 22% of those surveyed suggesting this concern. There was also a far greater percentage of those who claimed they would trust a human over a robot (54%) than vice versa (14%), suggesting there is a generalised mistrust of robotics amongst the general public.
The study also shows that the women surveyed were more concerned about robots than men, with 34% of female respondents worried about the influence of robots, compared to 29% of men. Additionally, only 32% of women believed that robots would benefit everyday life, compared to a far greater 46% of men.
There was also a higher level of acceptance and trust towards robotics amongst the younger respondents in the survey, compared to the older interviewees, who displayed a bigger fear of robots than their younger contemporaries.
Perhaps because of this divide in opinion, there were very few tasks that a large number of respondents claimed they’d be happy to let a robot perform. Only household chores received a large percentage in favour, with 40% of respondents saying they would be happy to use robots around the house.
These numbers suggest that while researchers and business innovators are confident that robots will have a big part to play in the future, the general public is yet to be convinced of their role in our everyday lives.