Most Australians don't believe robots can replace them in the office

Sony’s latest entertainment robot aibo. Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Australians are cautiously optimistic about the impact of robots on society, according to a survey by iternet-based market research and data analytics firm YouGov.

Nearly two-thirds of the 1,014 Australians surveyed as part of a global study believe robots will make lives easier and three-quarters agree machines can do things humans don’t want to do.

Early visions of a society where robots do all the work while humans enjoy all the leisure time they can handle have largely faded.

In its place, development of artificial intelligence and robotics means that a lot of jobs will disappear some time in the future.

However, this latest survey shows only one in ten Australians believe a robot could do their job better than them.

“Despite being able to see the benefits that robots could bring, Aussies also recognise the threat they pose to people’s employment prospects,” says YouGov.

Three-quarters of Australians agree that robots will take jobs away from many of them.

The results from the Australian sample in the global survey:

Source: YouGov. Data was collected online between 11 and 28 September 2017 using YouGov’s panel of over 5 million people worldwide. It was weighted to be representative of the online population.

Out of a list of twelve possible functions, the most popular use for a robot is cleaning the house.

Other popular choices include security (chosen by 55% of respondents) and gardening (43%).

Women and men appear to agree about the use of robots for household chores such as cleaning, gardening and carrying things.

However, they are more divided for more socially-oriented tasks.

Nearly twice as many men would want a robot to help with care for the elderly (27% of men and just 15% of women).

And about a quarter of men would want a robot for companionship, while less than a fifth of women would.

Source: YouGov

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