59% of U.S. internet users are already on ChatGPT, BofA survey finds – Fortune

Apparently, generative A.I. isn’t just hot air. A new survey from Bank of America found that ChatGPT has been used by more than half of U.S. internet users, while four out of 10 people surveyed say they now use OpenAI’s chatbot, or search chatbots offered by Google and Microsoft, several times a week.
According to the survey, OpenAI’s ChatGPT was the most popular of the three A.I. chatbots that users were asked about, with 59% of respondents using the tool. Microsoft’s Bing is now used by 51% of surveyed internet users, according to BofA, while 31% use Google’s Bard. 
The survey polled a group of 1,100 U.S. internet users ages 18 to 55, but Bank of America did not provide much detail about the methodology of its survey, other than to note that it was conducted with SurveyMonkey. BofA said that the survey was “biased towards heavy internet users,” without specifying how it defined heavy use. 
Still, the results provide an early snapshot of how quickly consumers are taking to the new crop of generative A.I. tools. Searching for information and “generating ideas” were the two most common reasons respondents gave for using the tools. 
Generative A.I. technology uses so-called large language models (LLMs) to respond to questions in a conversational manner. ChatGPT and Bing use the same large language model called GPT-4. The two are, in many ways, considered the same, but Microsoft’s Bing can pull information from the internet to compile written answers to queries, while ChatGPT is limited to information it was trained on until September 2021.
“ChatGPT is clearly drawing interest and activity on the web,” Bank of America said in the note. What’s more, it added, half of respondents said they would pay for a subscription to ChatGPT. 
For Microsoft, which has long been a nonfactor in search, the survey has good news, too. According to the survey, 30% of internet users are using Microsoft’s Bing search chatbot every day, and 40% use Bing several times a week.
The question that’s likely to be on people’s minds is whether or not generative A.I. has already started to disrupt Google’s long-standing reign as the dominant search engine. 
According to the analysts, Google is well positioned to benefit from the generative A.I. wave, with 45% of people indicating they will use Google Search more as a result of the integration of conversational A.I. tools like Google’s Bard. “We think LLM usage can be incremental to core search,” according to the Bank of America analysts, who have a buy rating on Google’s stock.
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