Edie Mullen
November 2016.

Will robots be part of our everyday domestic life in 20 years’ time?

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Domestic robots, that do cleaning and fetching and carrying, will have voice recognition and built-in artificial intelligence (AI). They can act as your companion – they’re already being used in Japan, which has a larger ageing population. This trend makes sense: everyone can do with a cleaner and a cook as we have better things to do with our time. There will be second-hand market for robots.

You may get robots writing summaries of company financial results or news stories, but you’ll still need journalists to gather news and put a human spin on it; to supply writing style, personality, and explanation.

AI will be ubiquitous in computing and robotics, especially household robots that can clean and fetch shopping. The sort of androids that we’ve seen in science fiction will be in use by 2030 – their price will probably be comparable to a mid-range family car, between about £15,000 and £20,000.

AI will automate things and reduce the time we spend on routine and boring administrative tasks, making some junior jobs unnecessary. For example, AI can answer straightforward legal questions such as ‘what’s the VAT procedure for selling things to Hong Kong?’, which can means you avoid spending £500 an hour with a law firm.

People worry that automation will cut jobs, but if you look at it a different way AI will enable new graduates to do more interesting and challenging work that relies on human interaction skills and emotional intelligence.

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