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Don't tell Gen Z the ChatGPT hype bubble is over

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at a company event in event on November  2023
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at a company event in event on November 2023Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • 43% of 18-29 year-olds in the US have used ChatGPT, up from 33% last July.

  • Nearly a third of young people have used ChatGPT for work tasks, up from 12% last summer.

  • I used a ChatGPT-like bot to create the first two bullet points in this summary. Welcome to the future!

Remember a year ago? When everyone was super excited and/or freaked out about ChatGPT and AI? And then how everyone got over it and moved on?

Turns out that … it didn't exactly happen that way.

Or, more precisely: Lots of normal people are still a bit interested in AI and ChatGPT. But the youngs? They're really into it.

That's the conclusion you can draw from a new Pew survey, which reports that overall ChatGPT use has continued to increase — but that it's really increased among Gen Z.

Pew's newest survey, conducted last month, shows that 43% of Americans aged 18-29 say they've used ChatGPT, up from 33% from last July. But only 23% of all adults say they've used the chatbot.

A chart showing that ChatGPT use has ticked up since July, particularly among younger adults
Pew

OK. But the kids are probably just screwing around with ChatGPT, right? Because while ChatGPT can be a fun party trick, it also "hallucinates." So you couldn't use it at an Actual Job. Right?

Turns out, the kids are using it for Actual Jobs (or at least they say they are). Nearly a third of young people say they've used ChatGPT "for tasks at work." That's up from just 12% last summer.

Chart described in story text
Pew

So feel free to draw any conclusion here that you want: One obvious one would be that young people are more likely to embrace new technology, which should not surprise anyone who has ever been a young person.

Another might be that indicators some of us use to track general interest in something — like, say, web visits to ChatGPT's site, or the number of VC deals for ChatGPT-like startups, or even traffic to stories about ChatGPT — aren't necessarily that useful.

Or, more precisely — that there can be a single data point that doesn't tell the whole story.

A visit to Google Trends, for instance, can tell you two stories at once: Yes, people became less interested in ChatGPT last spring and summer — and then they became more interested, and are now just as curious about ChatGPT as they were a year ago.

Chat that shows Google search interest in ChatGPT over time
Google search interest in the term "ChatGPT" dipped for a time, but is back up.Google Trends

Let's see what the graph looks like next fall.

Read the original article on Business Insider