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Understanding the Impact of Generative AI

October 24, 2023

Despite heavy media coverage throughout 2023, consumers are still relatively unfamiliar with generative AI tools and there is no consensus about what impact this technology will have on the world. Big Village recently ran a CARAVAN omnibus survey of 1010 US adults in order to understand consumers’ levels of awareness and usage of generative AI tools and what effect they expect these types of tools to have.

Low Awareness and Category Confusion

Our survey found that awareness of generative AI tools is still relatively low, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of respondents to the survey couldn’t name a single tool unprompted.  Roughly a quarter (23%) named ChatGPT and beyond that, Bard and Bing were named by 3% of consumers each. When prompted with a list of names, awareness numbers rise to 46% for ChatGPT, 15% for Bing, and 9% for Bard, with all other tools, particularly those geared more to work-related tasks and image generation being very low. In addition, consumers are to some extent confused about the definition of the category, mixing up autonomous technologies that are rule-based, such as voice assistants like Siri and Alexa or self-driving cars, with generative AI.

Those Aware of Tools Use Them

US adults have used various generative AI tools in proportion to their reported awareness, as shown in the table below where roughly one-half to one-third of those aware of a particular tool say they have used it. Among ChatGPT users, only a fifth (19%) use the paid version, ChatGPT Plus.

Expected Impacts but Unclear Outcomes

While consumers anticipate that generative AI will have an impact on the world, there is no consensus on the scale and type of impact it will have. For example, when asked what impact they expect generative AI to have on the world in the next five years roughly half of adults say they believe it will have a strong impact (51% top two box score).  However, nearly a fifth (19%) say that they don’t know how much of an impact it will have.  Similarly, when asked if they think generative AI will have a positive or negative impact on the world, roughly a quarter (23%) say they expect it to have a positive impact (top 2 box score), while slightly more (29%) say they believe it will have a negative impact (bottom 2 box score) and nearly a fifth (17%) say they don’t know what type of impact it will have.

Among those employed, 23% fear losing their job to AI in the next 5 years (top 2 box), but nearly half (48%) say they do not fear this (bottom 2 box) and another 9% say that they don’t know.

What’s to Come

CARAVAN will continue to track consumer attitudes through their weekly omnibus surveys. Explore The Pulse for weekly survey results on trending topics in America and contact the CARAVAN team to get your questions answered with the help of survey experts.

Written by Seth Hardy, Managing Director.