Jun 3, 2024 - Technology

Exclusive: AI isn't a daily habit yet for teens, young adults

The bar chart illustrates the frequency of generative AI use among young people ages 14-22, showing that 41% have never used AI tools, while 17% have used them only once or twice. The chart also reveals that a small percentage use AI tools daily or weekly.
Data: Common Sense Media; Chart: Axios Visuals

Young Americans are quickly embracing generative AI as a tool, but few have yet made it a part of their daily lives, according to new data shared exclusively with Axios from Common Sense Media, Hopelab and the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Center for Digital Thriving.

Why it matters: Since the rise of the web 30 years ago, young users have typically adopted and shaped each new dominant tech platform.

By the numbers: The survey of 1,274 U.S.-based teens and young adults, conducted in October and November 2023, found that only 4% of respondents, all aged 14-22, said they use AI tools daily or almost daily.

  • 41% said they've never used AI, and another 8% said they don't know what AI tools are.
  • The two most common uses for AI, the survey found, were getting information (53%) and brainstorming (51%).
  • 40% of white respondents said they used the technology for help with schoolwork. That number was 62% for Black respondents and 48% for Latinos.

The big picture: A 41% plurality said they expect AI to have both positive and negative impacts over the next 10 years.

  • But the number of LGBTQ+ respondents who expected mostly negative impacts was significantly higher (28%) than cisgender/straight respondents (17%).

The survey also asked an open-ended question about respondents' thoughts on AI.

Young people want adults to know that "the world is changing," "we are the future," and "AI is the future." Some are concerned, saying, "AI is very creepy," and "AI concerns me," while others are optimistic, sharing sentiments like, "I really cannot wait to see how it evolves in the future."
—Teen and Young Adult Perspectives on Generative AI

Go deeper: Read the full report (with full methodology)

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that 40% of white respondents said they use AI for help with schoolwork (not 40% of all respondents).

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