Would You Hire A Robot Nanny?

Would You Hire A Robot Nanny?
21 April 2016

Picture the scene: you've arrived at your idyllic family holiday destination and after checking in - using an iris scanner or robot receptionist - you're shown to your room by a robo-butler who has already set the room temperature to your order and arranged for your favourite drinks and snacks to be waiting for you.

Next, you head to the pool - but not before dispatching your children into the care of the hotel's friendly robo-nanny who will escort them to the kids' club - staffed by robots.

I can't be the only one who read the above and thought: Over my dead body!

But according to new research commissioned by Travelzoo, 80% of respondents expect robots to play a major role in daily life by 2020 and the majority of parents (61%) said they were willing to accept robots being used in childcare roles in the holiday environment.

Parents were reportedly more accepting of robots in childcare than non-parents. That part made me laugh out loud - does it mean it takes first-hand experience of the full extent of the exhaustion that parenthood can invoke in order to feel prepared to hand your kids over to robots?!

British and German travellers are the least keen on robots looking after their children on holiday but 89% of Chinese parents say they'd happily entrust their kids into the car of a robot nanny.

Richard Singer, Travelzoo's European President said:

"In the right environment robots can help humans do their jobs better. When it comes to childcare in resorts, one obvious benefit is their ability to converse in multiple languages, as well as the fact they never tire. Robots are also very entertaining and currently provide a massive source of fascination, drawing guests to hotels to engage with them. Nobody is suggesting robots will replace human entertainers and carers in the childcare environment, but we do believe that for some resorts there could be huge benefits in having robots partner with humans."

I don't know about you but I completely draw the line at the notion of a non-human ever caring for my kids. Call me old-fashioned but there are some things in life that just can't be done by technology - and childcare is definitely one of them.

That said, we're in the throes of potty-training in our house and right at this moment I wouldn't much mind if a robot could come and stay for a brief period in order to take over this particular parenting task. If she could deal with the laundry in a timely fashion while she's here and perhaps rustle up the odd nutritious family dinner or two, I suppose I could just about tolerate it.

But the day I delegate looking after my kids on holiday to a digital being is the day I declare us all finally having lost our marbles.

We'd love to hear what you make of this story - would you welcome the chance to leave your kids in the care of a robo-nanny on holiday? Or do you, like me, think it's a bonkers concept? Leave us a comment below or join the debate on our Facebook page.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment