Majority of Americans have heard of ChatGPT, but few have tried it

Date: 2023-05-24T10:58:28-04:00

Location: www.pewresearch.org

  • Short Reads

|

For the latest survey data on ChatGPT, see “Americans’ use of ChatGPT is ticking up, but few trust its election information.”

About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) are familiar with ChatGPT, though relatively few have tried it themselves, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. Among those who have tried ChatGPT, a majority report it has been at least somewhat useful.

ChatGPT is an open-access online chatbot that allows users to ask questions and request content. The versatility and human-like quality of its responses have captured the attention of the media, the tech industry and some members of the public. ChatGPT surpassed 100 million monthly users within two months of its public launch in late November 2022, setting a world record as the fastest-growing web application. Due to these factors, the Center chose to ask Americans about ChatGPT specifically rather than chatbots or large language models (LLMs) more broadly.

Pew Research Center has a history of exploring Americans’ perspectives on emerging technologies and uses of artificial intelligence. The current study sought to understand Americans’ familiarity and experiences with ChatGPT. This survey was conducted among 10,701 U.S. adults from March 13 to 19, 2023. Everyone who took part in the survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race and ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.

Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

Overall, 18% of U.S. adults have heard a lot about ChatGPT, while 39% have heard a little and 42% have heard nothing at all. But there are considerable demographic differences in awareness of this chatbot.

For example, roughly eight-in-ten adults with a postgraduate degree have heard a lot (32%) or a little (47%) about this artificial intelligence program, while 71% of those with a bachelor’s degree say the same. A smaller share of those who have some college education (59%) say they’ve heard of it. By comparison, 41% of those with a high school education or less are familiar with ChatGPT. A similar pattern emerges with household income, as a higher share of people from more affluent households are aware of this program.

In addition, Asian adults are particularly likely to have heard of ChatGPT: 78% say they have heard at least a little about it, compared with about six-in-ten White adults and roughly half of Hispanic or Black adults. Asian adults are also more than twice as likely as adults of other races to say they have heard a lot about this program.

Men are more likely than women to have heard at least a little about ChatGPT, as are adults under 30 when compared with those 30 and older.

Just 14% of U.S. adults have tried ChatGPT

How ChatGPT should be used has been hotly contested. Some people see it as a useful tool for educational and work purposes, while others feel it should only be used for entertainment.

However, few U.S. adults have themselves used ChatGPT for any purpose. Just 14% of all U.S. adults say they have used it for entertainment, to learn something new, or for their work. This lack of uptake is in line with a Pew Research Center survey from 2021 that found that Americans were more likely to express concerns than excitement about increased use of artificial intelligence in daily life.

Among the subset of Americans who have heard of ChatGPT, 19% say they have used it for entertainment and 14% have used it to learn something new. About one-in-ten adults who have heard of ChatGPT and are currently working for pay have used it at work.

White adults who have heard of ChatGPT are consistently less likely than their Asian, Hispanic or Black counterparts to have used the chatbot for fun, education or work.

Use of ChatGPT for these purposes is also closely related to age. For example, adults under 30 who have heard of ChatGPT are far more likely than those 65 and older to have used the chatbot for entertainment (31% vs. 4%).

Roughly four-in-ten Americans who have tried ChatGPT say it has been somewhat useful

While ChatGPT can be used in many ways and for many tasks, it has come under fire for sometimes failing to produce accurate answers, making up information, using real organizations’ names (including ours) to try to legitimize its claims, and accusing real people of crimes that they did not commit. These falsehoods can be extremely convincing because ChatGPT can produce eloquent prose and cite nonexistent sources that seem real even to the people it credits.

Americans’ opinions about ChatGPT’s utility are somewhat mixed. People who have used it were asked about their experience with this chatbot. Roughly a third say it has been extremely (15%) or very useful (20%), while 39% say it has been somewhat useful. Around a quarter of those who have tried it say it has been not very (21%) or not at all useful (6%).

Younger adults tend to find ChatGPT more useful than older adults. About four-in-ten adults under 50 who have used it (38%) say it was extremely or very useful, whereas only about a quarter of users 50 and older (24%) say the same.

Note: Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

Emily A. Vogels is a former research associate focusing on internet and technology at Pew Research Center.