June 23, 2024
AI Hype Study Finds Little Use for AI Products Like ChatGPT
AI

AI Hype: Study Finds Little Use for AI Products Like ChatGPT

A survey suggests that very few people are regularly using “much hyped” artificial intelligence (AI) products like ChatGPT. Researchers surveyed 12,000 individuals across six countries, including the UK, with only 2% of British respondents reporting daily use of such tools. A study by Oxford University indicates that young people, particularly those aged 18 to 24, are the most eager adopters of this technology.

Source: Shantanu Kumar

Dr. Richard Fletcher, the report’s lead author, said that there is a “mismatch” between the “hype” surrounding AI and the “public interest” in it. The study focused on generative AI tools, the latest generation of products that respond to text prompts with human-sounding answers, images, audio, and video. Generative AI captured public attention when ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, sparking a competitive rush among tech firms to develop similar features.

Public Interest and Awareness

Despite significant investment and attention, the research shows that generative AI has not yet become part of people’s routine internet use. Dr. Fletcher noted that “large parts of the public are not particularly interested in generative AI,” with 30% of UK respondents unaware of prominent products like ChatGPT. The new AI products have also fueled a heated public debate on their potential impact, with predictions ranging from economic growth and life-saving drug discoveries to existential threats to humanity.

The research sought to understand public opinion, finding that most people expect generative AI to have a significant impact on society within the next five years, especially in news, media, and science. While many believe generative AI will improve their lives, opinions are more pessimistic regarding its overall effect on society. Dr. Fletcher explained that public hopes and fears about generative AI vary by sector. People are generally optimistic about its use in science and healthcare but more cautious about its application in news and journalism and concerned about job security implications.

Nuanced Debate Needed for AI Integration

Dr. Fletcher emphasized the importance of nuanced discussions about AI, involving all stakeholders, including governments and regulators. The findings are based on responses to an online questionnaire conducted in Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan, the UK, and the USA. As AI continues to evolve, it is crucial to balance its potential benefits with the associated risks, ensuring that its integration into various sectors is managed thoughtfully and responsibly.

This survey underscores the gap between the hype and actual use of AI tools like ChatGPT, highlighting the need for informed and balanced discourse on the future of AI technology.

Photo by Tara Winstead

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