How Do Americans Feel About AI-Based Text Generation?

March 3, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Industries | Men | Social Media | Technology | Women | Youth & Gen X

The world has been abuzz with talk of ChatGPT since its release, with the application becoming the fastest ever to reach 100 million users. Almost half (47%) of US adults had heard either “a lot” or “a little” about ChatGPT as of late January, according to a survey from YouGov.

The results of the survey show that men (57%) were far more likely than women (36%) to have heard at least a little about ChatGPT. Somewhat predictably, awareness was greater among the 18-29 (56%) and 30-44 (54%) age brackets than the 45-64 (44%) and 65+ (32%) age groups.

Despite that relatively broad awareness, only 6% of adults surveyed at the time said they had personally used the program.

What’s interesting is that there’s pessimism surrounding the impact of such developments on society. Asked whether they think that advancements in AI-based text generation will overall be a good or bad thing for society, almost three times as many respondents said that it will be bad (36%) than good (13%). The remainder were either neutral (23%) on the topic or not sure (28%).

Awareness did have an impact on the results, but not enough to tilt them in AI’s favor. Men were twice as likely to say that these advancements will be a net negative for society (34%) than a net positive (16%). Even young people skewed slightly to the negative impact, with 18-29-year-olds more pessimistic (27% bad; 19% good) than 30-44-year-olds (23% and 20%, respectively).

The only group of people who foresee advancements in AI-based text generation to overall be more of a good than bad thing for society are those who say they use AI tools very or somewhat often, with 30% seeing the potential for good against 19% envisioning a negative effect.

This skepticism may be rooted in fears about employment: the adults surveyed were more than 3 times as likely to believe that advancements in AI will overall lead to there being fewer jobs (46%) for people than more jobs (14%).

In fact, research from Ipsos indicates that employed 18-34-year-olds (46%) are more likely than employed 35-54-year-olds (26%) to believe it at least somewhat likely that AI will replace their jobs in the next 5 years. (Due to a relatively small sample, these results should be taken directionally only.)

Separately, a survey from Big Village reveals that two-thirds (66%) of US adults are concerned with privacy issues involving the use of generative AI for social media. Fewer than 1 in 4 trust how generative AI is being used in social media, and 42% are either extremely (19%) or very (23%) concerned that generative AI images or videos of them could become the subject of deep fake social media posts.

For the full results, check out YouGov’s research here and Big Village’s survey here.

About the Data: The YouGov results are based on a January 24-27 survey of 1,000 US adults (18+), while the Big Village results are based on a January 9-11 survey of 1,000 US adults (18+).


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