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Thoughts on Housework


Recently reading an OECD study on housework and its division, I was inevitably struck by extreme gender disparities, gross misjudgments, massive cleaning fatigue (that's a good word!) and why Japan is so beautiful.

Automation and AI are entering many areas of our lives – even within our own four walls. Ever since the invention of vacuum cleaner robots, a device that takes on annoying household tasks has been a part of everyday life. Washing machines are also practical for use. After the washing drum rolls itself up, it becomes mobile using electricity. Today, appliances can be scheduled to wash at a specific time and controlled remotely through an app.

But what everyday tasks are still possible to automate and simplify using artificial intelligence? A team of Oxford University researchers sought to answer this question 65 AI experts surveyed, How highly do they value the role of machines in performing routine unpaid tasks such as cleaning and shopping in five or ten years?

Overall, i.e. across all 17 categories or on average, we found that Automatic 39% of the time on average over the next ten yearsWe spend on housework, Spare is In other words: 39% of the time currently spent on housework could be taken over by automation. The British experts They were a little more confident about their forecast and saved time 42% JHispanic peers However, it was average 36% outside.

Interestingly, male AI experts in the UK are more confident than their British counterparts, which is consistent with the observation. Men are generally more optimistic about technology. In Japan, on the other hand, female AI experts are more confident in automating everyday tasks than their male colleagues.

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Nothing is new

Incidentally, gendered consideration, assessment and, above all, the execution of household chores is nothing new. This is how one shows Time consuming study It has been since 2008 Austrian women make up two-thirds Do unpaid work. In England Working-age men spend approx half time with the same care and housework as girls of the same age. In Japan Even men use it 18% of the time Japanese women use it for housework.

Men, especially Japanese men, are unlikely to have the same attitude towards housework. It is very important that those who build the machines that make our lives easier (who are mostly men) also have an accurate idea of ​​where relief is needed. Japanese men's justification for their assessment is interesting, namely: In relation to development costs, demand is very low, To justify large investments in this area. The following fun fact may shed some light on this assessment: According to OECD statistics, the cost In Japan, women spend an average of 199 minutes a day with household activities Men But still Only 23 minutes. I now assume that the Japanese AI experts surveyed (as noted at the beginning) all have 199 minute women at home. So, it's no surprise that they don't see the need to come up with some practical tools to lighten the load around the house. That's how it works! These guys don't know the cleaning fatigue (I love that word) even though you've already done it last week and the week before and the week before that, every week feels like…

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Kawaii

Very cute kawaii

But back to the topic: as long as the distribution of characters is very traditional in the Land of Smiles, we won't get any amazing technical support from there (Japan is considered one of the bastions of consumer electronics). It's unfortunate that we can't expect any support, as the devices certainly won't look as unappealing as the Terminator, as Elon Musk put together in his factories. It's Japan Finally Land of “kawaii”, It translates to “beautiful” or “lovely”. In Japan, kawaii covers all areas of life. From larger-than-life Pokemon jumbo jets to roadblocks carried by pink bunnies to official tsunami warning signs depicting waves with fangs and wide-eyed fearful houses. Business travelers naturally drag Hello Kitty suitcases behind them, and police notices are marked with little bears. Kawaii is everywhere and now spawns an entire industry: from toilet seats to home robots and toasters with animal faces – you can now buy almost anything in Kawaii style. Beauty sells! What amazing devices the home robot industry will create out there! A little cute cleaning power maybe? With Iggy, the little toilet hedgehog, rolling back and forth in the toilet bowl, Flora wipes the flat flounder glasses with flap-clacking noises. Meanwhile, Bert Train climbs into the beaver sink and prepares to dive, and then Fred the Grout Caterpillar, a squishy thing that runs tirelessly across the tiles, removing pesky deposits. When work is done, hard-working commuters return to their stations, where they plug into the power grid, hum contentedly, and let the well-deserved reward watts run through their battery bellies – Under 23 minutes of course – of course! 😉

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