Generative AI: Hype or Habit?

by Voinea Laurentiu
Generative AI

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are constantly making headlines, yet a new study suggests they haven't quite become everyday staples.

Researchers from the Reuters Institute and Oxford University surveyed over 6,000 people across the US, UK, France, Denmark, Japan, and Argentina. While ChatGPT emerged as the most popular tool, with two to three times the user base of competitors like Google Gemini and Microsoft Copilot, daily usage remained low. In Japan, only 1% reported daily use, rising to 2% in France and the UK, and 7% in the US.

The study revealed a significant knowledge gap, with 19% to 30% of respondents completely unfamiliar with these popular AI tools. While many have tried generative AI at least once, consistent use remains uncommon. Unsurprisingly, younger demographics (18-24) were far more likely to be regular users, with 56% having tried ChatGPT compared to just 16% of those over 55.

Looking at usage patterns, 24% reported using generative AI for information gathering, while 28% used it for creative endeavors like generating text, audio, code, images, and video.

The researchers believe future adoption will be driven by a combination of factors. Standalone tools like ChatGPT will have a role, but a larger influence might come from workplace integration and the embedding of generative AI features into existing platforms like social media and search engines. Google's recent announcement of deeper generative AI integration within Google Search exemplifies this trend.

The study also highlights public uncertainty about the overall impact of generative AI on society. This is understandable given the lack of awareness and limited personal experience with these tools. However, the researchers note that younger people and those with higher education, who are also more likely to have used generative AI, tend to hold a more positive view of this rapidly evolving technology.