The age-old struggle between the allure of leisure and the looming spectre of household chores is as timeless as a pile of dirty dishes – but what if AI could bridge this gap—transforming dull drudgery into a playground of digital delights?

The AI powered R1 Rabbit

As of January 2024, the latest trend on all tech news websites was the sold-out R1 Rabbit—an AI-powered device that has generated quite a buzz in the tech world. It is not quite a smartphone, but rather a stand-alone AI assistant designed to make your life “easier and more enjoyable”.

The R1’s brain is a powerful AI called a Large Action Model (LaMDA) that can understand and respond to your natural language commands. And unlike smartphones, the R1 does not have its own apps. Instead, it connects to and interacts with the apps you already have on your phone, like music streaming, ride-hailing, or even smart home controls.

The R1 boasts advanced voice recognition and task management capabilities. You could likely utilise it to create chore lists, set automated reminders, and delegate tasks to family members. Imagine saying, “Rabbit, add ’empty dishwasher’ to my chore list,” or “Remind me to water the plants every Tuesday at 2pm.” The R1 is designed to integrate with various smart home devices, potentially enabling automated chore assistance. For example, you could program the R1 to trigger your smart vacuum cleaner when you leave the house for work or set it to adjust the thermostat and turn on calming music when you say “Cleaning time!”.

Tesla’s Optimus

If the R1 Rabbit device wasn’t enough to convince you AI is here to gamify our daily tasks, then Tesla’s Optimus robot may be a considerable future investment. As of January 2024, a video of Tesla’s Optimus robot folding laundry was circulating the internet.

The video showcases Optimus taking an impressively long two minutes and 10 seconds folding a single t-shirt. While AI’s application as a helper for chores has not been fully established, it may be able to inject fun into what would typically be considered mundane tasks.

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Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR

And if the R1 Rabbit and Optimus folding laundry has not won you over, let’s move our attention over to the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR. While this particular AI adoption has not yet been launched in the company’s concept car, the idea is that AI would be used to create a biometric connection. Imagine placing your hand on the centre console and feeling the car come alive, recognizing you by your breathing patterns and displaying your biometrics on the instrument panel. This is the AVTR’s way of establishing a direct, intimate connection with the driver.

It is marketed as being not just a car; but rather an extension of yourself. The AVTR features a voice-activated AI that can control everything from navigation and music to the car’s mood lighting and fragrance. It can even personalize your driving experience based on your preferences and real-time conditions—from automatically changing the car’s exterior lighting based on the driver’s mood to having a breathing companion.

A glimpse of what AI-powered cars could look like

While the VISION AVTR may not be hitting the streets tomorrow, it certainly gives us a glimpse of what AI-powered cars could look like in the future. It is a car that not only drives you, but also understands you, connects you with the world around you, and even learns from you. In the year 2100, this may be the norm for school runs and grocery shops.

Ultimately, AI may not be here to steal our jobs. Its most interesting and useful application may well be as a household helper, alleviating some of the pressure from everyday tasks.