New YouGov research reveals four in ten believe a robot could do their job at least as well as them
Visions of a utopic society, where robots do all the work while humans enjoy all the leisure, have largely come and gone. Developments in genetics, artificial intelligence and robotics mean that robots could instead destroy livelihoods across vast swathes of the population, with recent research suggesting that about 45% of the activities people are paid to do could be automated over the next few decades.
However, new data from YouGov Omnibus suggest that Indonesians are cautiously optimistic about the impact of robots on society. Overall, nearly two-thirds of Indonesians believe that robots will make our lives easier and almost six in ten agree that robots can do things humans don’t want to do.
Almost three-quarters of Indonesians would like a robot to do their cleaning
Most Indonesians are happy to welcome robots into their lives, with just nearly one in ten saying they would not want a robot.
Out of a list of twelve possible functions, the most popular use for a robot is to help with cleaning the house, which about three-quarters of those polled would want. Other popular choices include security (chosen by 60% of respondents) and having robots carry things beside them, such as shopping (selected by 39%).
While women are more eager to use a robot to help with cleaning the house (77% of women want this compared with 71% of men) and carrying things such as shopping (43% to 35%), men are more keen to use robots for companionship (29% would like this compared with 23% of women) and sports (20% to 15%).
Near one in ten believe a robot would do their job better than them
Despite being able to see the benefits that robots could bring, Indonesians also recognise the threat they pose to people’s employment prospects; almost two-thirds of Indonesians agree that robots will take jobs away from many of us. However, many do not currently feel personally threatened by robots in the workplace, with only nearly one in ten believing that a robot would be better than them at their job.
Across generations, roughly half of Indonesians think that a robot would not be better them at their job. However, four in ten believe that a robot could do their job either the same as or better than them.
With robots set to shake up our economy there is certainly a challenge ahead. Eight in ten Indonesians agree that robots should be regulated carefully, suggesting that regulators will have to forge a new and difficult path that seeks to maximise the benefits of new technology without reducing citizens’ opportunities and/or income.
*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. Sample size: 6,774
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