Friday Five: Robots will takeover household chores

Zone
3 min readFeb 24, 2023

Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Robots will takeover household chores

Research from the University of Oxford found that robots will do almost 40% of domestic chores by 2033. Around four in ten hours is currently devoted to chores like laundry and cleaning, and working people in the UK spend nearly 50% of their work and study time on unpaid domestic work.

Experts say grocery shopping is likely to see the most automation, along with ironing, dishwashing and cooking, while caring responsibilities were the least likely to be impacted by artificial intelligence. The study suggests the potential for increased leisure time as domestic tasks become automated.

2. Former politicians call for digital ID cards

Former political leaders Sir Tony Blair and Lord William Hague advocate the use of state-backed digital ID cards for UK citizens. They believe the scheme is a fundamental shift required in a new era of technological revolution, which is “as huge in its implications as the 19th-century Industrial Revolution”.

Digital ID cards would allow people to prove their identity using information stored on an app, incorporating details such as a passport, driving licence, tax records, qualifications, and right-to-work status. Sir Tony believes the initiative will overcome concerns regarding online dangers, as opponents of the scheme fear intrusion and data breaches.

3. Amazon staff fight against returning to office

Amazon staff launched a petition for CEO Andy Jassy to scrap his return-to-office (RTO) mandate. Jassy told employees that they will be expected to return to the office for at least three days a week come May, as he believes it will strengthen the company culture and people are more engaged and collaborative when in-person.

Furious employees fight for Amazon leadership to uphold remote work and flexibility, highlighting that the new RTO policy would impact work-life balance and employees who have planned for a life conditioned around flexible working. Amazon will be finalising RTO plans in the coming weeks.

4. Broadband deals to stop digital exclusion

Broadband should be more accessible to low-income households to tackle digital exclusion amid the cost-of-living crisis. Ofcom revealed that 32% of UK households struggled to afford their phone, broadband, pay-TV and streaming bills, according to figures compiled in October 2022.

Experts told the Lords Digital Committee’s digital exclusion hearings that cutting VAT on broadband could support people on benefits whilst the government has urged firms to raise awareness of cheaper social tariff deals. Rocia Concha at Which? said the internet is “as important as having access to water, gas and electricity.”

5. Should marketers lead brands to sustainable choices?

In recent years, many marketers have seen a shift in their client relationships, taking on more strategic partnerships. But how much, if at all, should marketers push ethical agendas client-side, and to what extent should they follow their clients’ lead?

Our Chief Design & Product Officer and sustainability expert, Esther Duran, joined The Drum Network’s debate with Jake Dubbins, Co-founder of Media Bounty, and Revolt’s Managing Director, Jenny Bust, to discuss who should steer the shift to sustainable choices. Watch the conversation on The Drum TV here.

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