More than 80% of people oppose using of robots in care, a survey has found.
Research by UK recruitment specialist Randstad found that 2,224 (83%) of 2,694 people did not think there was any role for robots in care. Only 470 people (17%) were in favour of using Artificial Intelligence to help fill the skills shortage in the sector.
Randstad said the findings illustrated the need to shift perceptions towards robots to help alleviate strains on the social care sector.
Victoria Short, Managing Director for Public Services at Randstad UK, said: “The current skills shortage in the care sector has potential to have a detrimental impact on patients over the next few years. With various factors contributing to the crisis, unless more people are encouraged to enter and remain in the industry we may look towards technology to help provide the vital care services that the majority of us would ideally prefer humans to deliver.
“We talk to care workers daily, and know that two of their biggest concerns are remuneration and time pressures. Our data tells us that public perception of AI and robotics in care isn’t positive, however, we need to work towards highlighting some the potential benefits it can bring to make care roles easier and more fulfilling for the vital workforce we’re striving to retain and attract. By carefully combining the most relevant technology with the most in-demand human skill sets, we can deliver the best possible care solution – protecting some of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals.”
Care home provider Advinia Healthcare announced in October 2018 that it would begin conducting trials of robots the following month.
The trial, which is being carried out in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, is being funded with a £2.2m EU grant.