Financial Markets


In a recent study spanning six countries and 12,000 participants, it was revealed that the usage of much-touted Artificial Intelligence (AI) products, notably products like ChatGPT, is considerably less than what media hype would suggest. The data underscores a distinct "mismatch" between the high expectations spawned by AI and the reality of its actual adoption by the public, with only a fraction of respondents using these tools daily.

For the British participants, only 2% claimed to use products akin to ChatGPT daily, with the younger demographic, specifically those between 18 and 24-years-old, exhibiting a more pronounced inclination towards adopting the technology.

Generative AI, of which ChatGPT is a prime representative, has been under the public scanner since November 2022, triggering substantial investment by tech firms eager to tap into potentialities of the new frontier. Billions are pouring into AI, even as its day-to-day usage shows significant lag.

Revealingly, the research indicated that generative AI has not yet infiltrated the daily Internet usage habits for the bulk of the surveyed population. As noted, over a quarter of respondents from the UK admitted to not even being aware of prominent generative AI products, indicating that the technology is still in its infancy with respect to public understanding.

Yet, the survey also showed that the public generally expects generative AI to leave a substantial mark on society. Its expanding potential is perceived to have particular relevance in diverse sectors like news, media, and science, with respondents expressing hope that it will improve their lives to some extent.

In contrast, when it comes to generative AI's broader societal effects, the public is somewhat more pessimistic. People seem to harbour concerns about its long-term implications for employment and job security, reflecting a wider discussion about the increasing automation of skills and tasks previously executed by humans.

Responses to the idea of integrating AI into established disciplines such as science and healthcare are largely positive, an indication that the public sees value in employing AI to enhance these sectors. Its usage in news and journalism, however, receives less approval, reflecting apprehension over a possible AI-induced shift in how we consume news.

The stark contrast in collective public sentiment towards generative AI, as indicated by the survey, stresses the urgency to consider nuance in the ensuing AI debate. It calls for the involvement of all stakeholders - consumers, tech companies, governments, and regulators, underlining the need for an active dialogue.

Indeed, as we look to a future where AI will undoubtedly become even more enmeshed in our lives and professions, making sense of these ambivalences and acknowledging fears alongside potential benefits is the first step towards effectively and fairly charting the course of our relationship with AI for generations to come. With the right conversation and aligned interests, AI might not just be the next big thing, but perhaps, our next best collaborator.