Preview: Neo-kinship

17.03.2017 Artifical Intelligence : Future Family : Relationships

Global – As the nuclear family disappears and more fluid and complex forms of kinship take its place, technology is not only helping to run the household, it is becoming part of it.

  • In 2014, for the first time in 130 years, an American aged 18–34 was more likely to live with his or her parents than a partner, according to Pew Research Center
  • Gartner has predicted that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse

The era of the nuclear family is over, but no one fixed paradigm has replaced it. ‘Untraditional is the new traditional,’ explains Caroline Whaley, co-founder of Shine for Women. ‘The family has become a collective – it is not just held together by blood.’

As the concept of what constitutes the family has become more unstable, technology has emerged as the one ever-present factor dictating the way consumers now bond and interact. And with the advent of pervasive artificial intelligence, technology is now revolutionising not only the way we manage our relationships, but also increasingly becoming part of the family in its own right.

We spoke to Gary Weber, vice-president of design for Fisher-Price Baby, Peter Gasston, senior creative technologist at +rehabstudio, and Pegor Papazian, founder and CEO of Bazillion Beings, to find out how kinship is evolving.

The Big Picture

For more on how technology is rapidly transforming what constitutes today’s family unit, read our Neo-kinship macrotrend.