Only 18% of Americans have ever used ChatGPT, according to Pew Research

Way fewer Americans are using ChatGPT than we thought.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Person using ChatGPT on a laptop
June Wan/ZDNET

If you use ChatGPT, you are likely so impressed by its capabilities that you think most people use it, too. However, a new Pew Research Center study shows that most Americans have yet to try ChatGPT. 

The Pew Research Center conducted a survey from July 17 to July 23 with 5,057 panelists to learn about ChatGPT use in the US. The study found that out of the respondents who had heard of ChatGPT, only 24% said they had ever used it, amounting to 18% of US adults overall.

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The age and education of the respondents had significant impacts on US adult ChatGPT use. Younger adults were more likely than older adults to have used the technology, with 41% of people ages 18-29 using it compared to 5% of those 65 and older. 

ChatGPT use in the US varies widely by afge and education
Pew Research Center

Younger generations are typically more inclined to adopt new technology. They're more likely to still be in school, where they can benefit from using generative AI by leveraging it for research, essay writing, coding, math help, and more. 

The amount of education an individual had also impacted their likeliness to use ChatGPT. Thirty-two percent of adults with a college degree or more have used ChatGPT, according to the study. 

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In terms of how Americans are using ChatGPT, surprisingly the biggest use case is not to learn something or for tasks at work, but rather entertainment. One in five adults who have heard of ChatGPT reported to have used it for entertainment.

Using it to learn something trailed slightly behind at 19%, while only 16% of those respondents who were employed and had heard of ChatGPT reported using it for work. 

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Because ChatGPT is prone to hallucinations and making mistakes, chatting with it can indeed be entertaining since it generates some outlandish answers at times. You can also use it to play basic games such as Tic-Tac-Toe or just to chat.

Only 19% of employed US adults working across all different industries who have heard of ChatGPT felt the technology would have a major impact on their jobs. 

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