Friday, June 13, 2014
For those of us of a certain age, we were aficionados of the TV series, The Jetsons. We will remember their housekeeper, Rosie the robot. (Admit it, who of us hasn't at one time or another, wished we had a Rosie). In the Pew Research Center April 2014 report, US Views of Technology & the Future, one of the items surveyed was the use of robotic caregivers. According to the key findings
65% think it would be a change for the worse if lifelike robots become the primary caregivers for the elderly and people in poor health.
Page 8 of the report expands on this finding:
Countries such as Japan are already experimenting with the use of robot caregivers to help care for a rapidly aging population, but Americans are generally wary. Some 65% think it would be a change for the worse if robots become the primary caregivers to the elderly and people in poor health. Interestingly, opinions on this question are nearly identical across the entire age spectrum: young, middle aged, and older Americans are equally united in the assertion that widespread use of robot caregivers would generally be a negative development.
And although we aren't likely to be jetting around in our personal spaceships a la George Jetson, we have written several posts on autonomous cars, and the survey question on this point shows a keen interest:
Of the three inventions we asked them about, Americans are most interested in riding in a driverless car: 48% would like to do this if given the opportunity, while 50% say this is something they would not want to do. College graduates are particularly interested in giving driverless cars a try: 59% of them would do so, while 62% of those with a high school diploma or less would not. There is also a geographical split on this issue: Half of urban (52%) and suburban (51%) residents are interested in driverless cars, but just 36% of rural residents say this is something they’d find appealing.
Now if I could just get that theme song out of my head....