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Just 5% have used GenAI to get latest news

Despite the media focus on generative AI, between 20% and 30% of the online population have not heard of any of the most popular AI tools, a survey across six countries shows. Just 5% say that they have used generative AI to get the latest news. The survey was made by Reuters Institute in Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan, the UK, and the USA.

Open AI’s ChatGPT is by far the most widely used generative AI tool in the six countries, two or three times more widespread than the next most widely used products, Google Gemini and Microsoft Copilot, the survey says.

Averaging across all six countries, 56% of 18–24s say they have used ChatGPT at least once, compared to 16% of those aged 55 and over.

“Roughly equal proportions across six countries say that they have used generative AI for getting information (24%) as creating various kinds of media, including text but also audio, code, images, and video (28%).”

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“Most of the public expect generative AI to have a large impact on virtually every sector of society in the next five years, ranging from 51% expecting a large impact on political parties to 66% for news media and 66% for science.” 

But the survey shows  significant variation in whether people expect different sectors to use AI responsibly – ranging from around half trusting scientists and healthcare professionals to do so, to less than one-third trusting social media companies, politicians, and news media to use generative AI responsibly.

  • Expectations around the impact of generative AI in the coming years are broadly similar across age, gender, and education, except for expectations around what impact generative AI will have for ordinary people – younger respondents are much more likely to expect a large impact in their own lives than older people are.
  • Asked if they think that generative AI will make their life better or worse, a plurality in four of the six countries covered answered ‘better’, but many have no strong views, and a significant minority believe it will make their life worse. 

“Asked whether generative AI will make different sectors better or worse, there is considerable optimism around science, healthcare, and many daily routine activities, including in the media space and entertainment (where there are 17 percentage points more optimists than pessimists), and considerable pessimism for issues including cost of living, job security, and news (8 percentage points more pessimists than optimists)”, the Institute says.

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“Asked to assess what they think news produced mostly by AI with some human oversight might mean for the quality of news, people tend to expect it to be less trustworthy and less transparent, but more up to date and (by a large margin) cheaper for publishers to produce. Very few people (8%) think that news produced by AI will be more worth paying for compared to news produced by humans.”

People are generally more comfortable with news produced by human journalists than by AI.

“Although people are generally wary, there is somewhat more comfort with using news produced mostly by AI with some human oversight when it comes to soft news topics like fashion (+7 percentage point difference between comfortable and uncomfortable) and sport (+5) than with ‘hard’ news topics, including international affairs (-21) and, especially, politics (-33).”

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