Why not get a robot to do the household chores?

Karen Madej

Technology is a powerful master or slave. Humans can choose which we want to be.

My preference would be for technology that requires a minimal amount of human interaction.

Take a dishwasher, a super piece of technology, but you know it still has to be loaded by a human. Right?

We could live on microwaveable ready meals and junk food (those of us who don’t already — I’m not judging (much)). However, they are expensive, calorie-laden, and often of little nutritional value. Or we could buy prepared fresh fruit and veggies; a healthier option.

Toasted cheese sandwiches, squished by one of those toastie/grilled cheese contraptions, might be a possibility, for convenience, but anything eaten over and over gets monotonous. Also, there’s still the washing up. For humans. Do you see where we are going with this?

When are we going to get our own super-efficient, artificially intelligent simulated humans? They’ll arrive in our homes pre-programmed, to do all the tedious tasks we humans don’t care for.

If you watched Humans (the joint Channel 4 and AMC TV show), you may be thinking, oh no! What if the Synths are really sentient beings? That would be a disaster. Or, if the iRobot were a stupid Roomba that gets stuck between chair legs and needs a human to help it get going again. Not much use if you set it to suck up all the dust and pet hair while you were at work!

Wouldn’t you love a mega bot like the graceful pickers in the Amazon warehouses? You can bet your bottom dollar they get every task done with speed, quality, and precision. Think of the possibilities …

When I was a teenager at school in the seventies, I was promised more leisure time thanks to future technology that would be able to do many of the tasks humans were, at the time, bound to do. What happened?

Technology advanced and company owners did take advantage of labour-saving innovation. Productivity and profits soared. However, somewhere along the line, workers stopped benefitting. We didn’t get more leisure time. In fact, many humans in the UK now work longer hours for less remuneration to survive. In the UK, there are now 14 million people living in poverty. That’s quite a turn around from the prediction I was aiming for.

Technology has to have some real leisure time boosting qualities for the workers. Forget the water-guzzling dishwasher. I’d like my synthetic me, with just enough artificial intelligence, to do all the food shopping, prepping, and cooking. Then clean up the kitchen and do the washing up. I’d also like it to plump my pillows daily, shake the duvet and straighten it. Do the laundry once a week. I’d let it off ironing because I don’t own anything that needs ironing. In fact, I don’t own an iron. Tidy up, dust, and vacuum once a week. Clean the kitchen and bathroom on a daily basis.

All those tedious chores hold zero interest for me and could so easily be done by an automaton. I’ll call mine Cinderella, it will be absent of sentience and there will be no bonding. In my mind, technology should be working to improve our lives; freeing up our time to create and pursue joyful lives instead of being forced to be slaves to money.

Just think how much me-time we could have to write and power walk on the beach or in the countryside; climb mountains and hike up hills. Wouldn’t you love the time to create your art, see your friends, and watch Netflix whenever you like?! What else would you do with all your freed up time?

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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