Articifical Intelligence

Generative AI: Widely Known, Yet Frequent Use Still Rare

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has released a new report into what the public in six countries – Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan, the UK and the USA – think of generative AI in the news.

Data for the six-countries was collected through online questionaires with fieldwork conducted in March and April of 2024. The survey extends beyond news media to gauge broader public awareness and usage of generative AI, highlighting its wide-reaching implications.

ChatGPT the most known generative AI tool

Across all six countries, ChatGPT is by far the most widely known tool. Other tools like Snapchat My AI, Google Gemini, and Microsoft Copilot have significantly lower public awareness. Except for Argentina, more than half of the respondents in each country have heard of ChatGPT.

However, a substantial portion of the population in each country remains unaware of any generative AI tools, with this unawareness ranging from 20% in Japan, Denmark, Argentina, and the USA, to 24% in France, and 30% in the UK.

Frequent of generative AI is uncommon

Despite wide awareness, frequent use of generative AI tools is uncommon. In Japan, only 1% use ChatGPT daily, rising to 7% in the USA. When considering any level of use (daily, weekly, monthly, or once or twice), the highest usage is in Denmark at 35%, followed by the USA at 32%, the UK at 29%, Argentina at 28%, France at 27%, and Japan at 22%.

Public opinion divided as to whether genrative AI will make life better

Another topic covered by the study was the publics expecations of how generative AI will impact the society and their own lifes. Two questions was posed in this regard:

  • Overall do you think that generative AI will make society better or worse?
  • Overall do you think that generative AI will make your life better or worse?

When it comes to impact on society, across the six-countries covered, roughly equal shares of respondents said generative AI will make life better, worse and neither better nor worse.

The most optimistic country was Argentina, where 44% said better and only 23% worse. In France, on other hand, only 18% said better and 42% said worse.

Respondents were more hestinant to make a clear opinion of better/worse when it comes to impact on their own lifes. Across the six countries, a higher share said better (28%) than worse (18%), 41% said neither better nor worse.

Argentina and the USA had the highest shares saying they think generative AI will make their life better. The lowest were in France, the UK and Denmark (20-23%).


While generative AI has been one of the most talked about technologies in the news over the past year and a half, there have been few studies of the actual use by the general public – beyond technology enthusiasts and professionals.

This report is an important contribution in that respect, showing how while awareness of generative AI is fairly widespread, few people use such tools frequently.

It should be noted that many of these tools – in particular ChatGPT – have required paid subscriptions to be able to use the best model. For example, the capability differences between GPT-3.5 (free) and GPT-4 (paid) is significant. OpenAI have recently announced that their most capable GPT-4 model will now be made available to all users.

Even so, the study shows that despite the large technological advances in generative AI over the past years, there is no resounding consensus that generative AI will make lives better or significantly improve society.

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