NEWS28 November 2023

Majority of teens using generative AI, finds Ofcom

AI News Technology UK Youth

UK – Four in five ( 79%) of online teenagers aged 13 to 17 use generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, with a significant number of younger children also familiar with the technology, according to research from Ofcom.

Teenagers on phones

In its Online Nation report, Ofcom said that 40% of children aged seven to 12 were using generative AI, compared with 31% of adults aged 16 and over.

Of adults who had never used generative AI, 24% had no idea what the technology was.

The AI-run social media tool Snapchat My AI, which became freely available to all Snap users in April 2023, is the most popular generative AI tool among children and teens, used by half ( 51%) of online seven to 17-year-olds and with teenage girls its most avid users ( 75%).

ChatGPT is the most widely used generative AI service among internet users aged 16 and over, at 23% of people.

More than half ( 58%) of people, according to Ofcom, are concerned about generative AI’s future impact on society, with the most prolific users of the technology – the online 16 to 24-year-olds – also most likely to be worried about its societal implications ( 67%).

Other trends in the Ofcom research included that the average online adult now spends around 56 days each year online – two more days than in 2022.

YouTube was visited by more UK online adults using smartphones, tablets or computers than Facebook, while people aged 25 to 44 on average used the most smartphone apps in May 2023 – 41 versus an average of 36 across all online adults.

The findings are based on data collected from several Ofcom trackers, including its Online Experiences Tracker, which was carried out among a nationally representative sample of 14,181 UK internet users aged between 13 and 84, and its YouGov panel, with the AI findings based on an online sample of 2,116 participants aged 16 or over with fieldwork carried out between 9th and 12th June 2023.