For decades, women have disproportionately managed household labor, including domestic tasks, child-rearing, elder care, and other caregiving activities. Even as women’s participation in the paid labor force has increased, the gendered division of unpaid domestic labor persists. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) offer potential for applications in the domestic environment that could alleviate this persistent burden on women.
To what extent have scholars considered the role of AI and domestic labor? Are there particular areas of household labor tasks that can benefit from the application of emerging technologies? What impact might these have on the gendered division of household roles? And what are the potential benefits and risks associated with the rise of domestic automation?
On May 17, the Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets convened a discussion around these questions. The event began with a keynote speech by Ekaterina Hertog, associate professor in AI and Society at Oxford University. Professor Hertog was then joined by a panel with Elizabeth Altman and Beth Humberd, both associate professors at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Manning School of Business. The conversation was moderated by Sanjay Patnaik, director of the Center on Regulation and Markets at Brookings. This event was part of the center’s “The Economics and Regulation of Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies” series.
Viewers followed along with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AIDomesticLabor and submitted questions using that hashtag or via email to email@example.com.