Editor's NoteFeaturedOpinion

Opinion: “I want AI to do my laundry and dishes, not my writing”

We need to think very carefully about where we want it to improve our lives, writes Campaign's editor

The SANBOT Nano Home Service Robot

There was a LinkedIn post getting plenty of views recently on the subject of AI.

It was posted by an ‘author and videogame enthusiast’ who said she wanted AI to do her laundry and dishes, not her art and writing.

If you think about all the mundane jobs we have to do each week, household chores are likely to top of most people’s lists.

While washing machines and dishwashers have helped make these jobs easier, you still need to load and unload them, dry them then put them away.

All the talk has been on how tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney can create AI-generated text and images.

But these are tasks we like to do as humans (writers and designers anyhow) and for now, are doing a better job at them than AI.

So shouldn’t we be focusing more on improving AI’s capabilities for tasks we really don’t want to do – like household chores, doing our tax returns and cooking dinner?

I thought I’d do a bit of ‘desk research’ and see if AI is actually improving any of the above and found myself trawling websites for robots.

The SANBOT Nano Home Service Robot caught my eye, a bargain at just $9,999.99. (That’s lucky as I’d never pay $10k for a robot).

Nano comes with an advanced voice-interaction system, high-quality speakers, communication and Alexa’s smart IoT. So far, so good.

“You can ask Nano to order some delicious takeout, give you the weather forecast, help you find the answer to a question and remind you of any appointments or tasks you have for the day,” reads the product description.

OK great, and what about washing the dishes and laundry? “Control your smart home appliances including curtains, TV, lights and air-conditioner using voice commands with your robot butler.”

Party partner

Useful, but actually wash dishes and laundry? “Use the Sanbot mobile app and control the robot to patrol and monitor your house, child or pet. Nano’s high-definition sound system and coloured lights lets the robot bring the party anywhere. You can ask Nano to play a specific song, artist, genre, or streaming service.”

So in summary – Good for parties, not so good for household chores. The point the author/videogame enthusiast was getting at is very valid.

We are focusing on improving AI in areas we may not want it. Whether it is for efficiency or cost-saving,  we should think carefully about where it is needed, and wanted.

The jury is still out on how AI is going to change the creative industries – at best it will be a tool to sit alongside us and won’t replace our creative teams.

Campaign Middle East editor Justin Harper

But is that a realistic scenario? Will it become so good by learning from us that we are no longer required?

As humans we like making things, and creating things. From knitting a jumper, to sketching to writing a catchy slogan for an ad – we are good at it and get much pleasure from doing ‘deep work’.

Don’t take that away from us. But dirty clothes and dishes – yes please.