Young Americans show mixed embrace of AI, survey reveals

The survey showed that the younger population in the USA has mixed feelings about AI technology.

Artificial Intelligence. AI. Infographic illustration on fantastic computer center

Young Americans are rapidly embracing generative AI, but few use it daily, according to a recent survey by Common Sense Media, Hopelab, and Harvard’s Center for Digital Thriving. The survey, conducted in October and November 2023 with 1,274 US teens and young adults aged 14-22, found that only 4% use AI tools daily. Additionally, 41% have never used AI, and 8% are unaware of what AI tools are. The main uses for AI among respondents are seeking information (53%) and brainstorming (51%).

Demographic differences show that 40% of white respondents use AI for schoolwork, compared to 62% of Black respondents and 48% of Latinos. Looking ahead, 41% believe AI will have both positive and negative impacts in the next decade. Notably, 28% of LGBTQ+ respondents expect mostly negative impacts, compared to 17% of cisgender/straight respondents. Young people have varied opinions on AI, as some view it as a sign of a changing world and are enthusiastic about its future, while others find it unsettling and concerning.

Why does it matter?

Young people globally share concerns over AI, which the IMF predicts will affect nearly 40% of jobs, with advanced economies seeing up to 60%. In comparison to the results above, a survey of 1,000 young Hungarians (aged 15-29) found that frequent AI app users are more positive about its benefits, while 38% of occasional users remain skeptical. Additionally, 54% believe humans will maintain control over AI, with 54% of women fearing loss of control compared to 37% of men.