Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Thais wary of using robots

Posted by pakin On October - 30 - 2017

While experts estimate that close to 50% of jobs in Thailand could be automated with current technology, the public may not be ready to welcome robots into key jobs, according to the latest survey by UK market research firm YouGov.

Only 35% of Thai men and 28% of Thai women would want a robot on the wheel of their cars, even if robots were safe and affordable. Even fewer would trust them with caring for their children (18% of men and 16% of women), and fewer still would want them to help manage their finances (17% of men and 12% of women).

Driving and routine functions at financial institutions are some of the activities likely to be automated in the near future. The Thai public’s hesitant acceptance of machines in these tasks indicates replacement may not take place as quickly as expected.

Only 7% of Thais say driving will be the most popular use of robots in the next five years, and only 2% think helping to manage their finances will be.

The views of Thais may contrast with those of citizens in developed economies. Some 56% of Americans say they would not be hesitant to ride in a driverless vehicle, according to US think tank Pew Research.

While less than half of Thais think robots are safe, only 1 in 25 says they would not want to own a robot which would, for example, clean the house (77%), help with security (67%), or assist them at work (49%).

Activities Thais would feel comfortable automating, like security, or gardening (46%), are some of the hardest tasks to automate because they require highly variable responses.

McKinsey, the consulting firm, says machines can already do some characteristically human activities, like identifying faces or sounds, better than people. Even so, Thais feel confident in their abilities to outperform these new competitors on the job.

Only 10% of Thais think a robot could do a better job than them, a result that is roughly stable across gender and age groups.

While Thais may be confident their employment will be safe in the future, they are less sure about their neighbours’ job security. Only 10% of Thais disagree that “robots will take jobs away from many of us”.

This result is similar in other countries. Most US adults, for example, say their jobs are safer from replacement by automation than most other professions, according to Pew Research.

 

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