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79% of Online Teenagers Use Generative AI Tools, Study Finds

study teens generative AI tools

Photo Credit: Midjourney

You may be uneasy about what the future holds when it comes to generative AI, but teenagers are not. A new UK study has found that 79% of teens say they’ve used generative AI online in some form.

Generative AI uses algorithms and large language models to create new content including text, images, video, code, and yes, even music. Some of the most popular services being used by these teens include ChatGPT, Midjourney, DALL-E, Snapchat My AI, and Bing chat.

Four in five online teenagers aged 13-17 said they use at least one generative AI tool or service, with 40% of kids aged 7-12 saying they’ve used the tools. Comparatively, adult internet users above age 16 are much less likely to use generative AI, with only 31% of those surveyed saying they used it. Among those who said they have never used generative AI (69%), one in four (24%) had no idea what generative AI does or can be used to create.

Snapchat My AI released in April 2023 and is the most popular AI tool used by teens, with 51% of 7-17 year-olds saying they tried it at least once. Online teenage girls are the most avid users of this particular generative AI, with 75% admitting they use it.

“Getting rapidly up to speed with new technology comes as second nature to Gen Z, and generative AI is no exception,” says Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Director, Strategy and Research. “While children and teens are driving its early adoption, we’re also seeing older internet users exploring its capabilities, both for work and leisure.”

“We also recognize that some people are concerned about what AI means for the future. As online safety regulator, we’re already working to build an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and risks of new and emerging technologies, so that innovation can thrive, while the safety of users is protected.”

With a whole generation of young kids growing up with generative AI as a tool in their creative toolbox—the next decade is going to be an interesting one.

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