Gen Z trusts ChatGPT — but Gen X and boomers don't, study finds – Business Insider

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Most Gen Xers and boomers in a Salesforce study reported not using generative-AI tools like ChatGPT.
Gen Zers are using generative-AI tools such as ChatGPT to automate their jobs and boost their creativity. Gen Xers and baby boomers, on the other hand, are a bit more skeptical about the technology, recent Salesforce research suggested.
In August, the San Francisco cloud giant surveyed 4,041 people ages 18 and up across the US, UK, Australia, and India to see how people of different ages used tools powered by generative artificial intelligence.
In the study, 49% of respondents said they used generative AI — researchers labeled this cohort a “young, engaged, and confident” group of “super-users” using the technology “frequently” and believing “they are well on their way to mastering it.”
Among those who use generative AI, 70% were Gen Zers — many of them saying they would be interested in using the technology for budgeting or career planning.
While Gen Zers may be using ChatGPT to do things such as beat their writer’s block, Salesforce’s research suggested that Gen Xers and baby boomers might be less keen on using the technology. Out of all the respondents who said they didn’t use generative AI, 68% were born between 1946 and 1980.
And 88% of nonusers ages 57 and above said they weren’t using generative AI because they didn’t know how the technology would affect their lives. Others within that age range said they weren’t familiar with the technology or didn’t believe it was useful for them.
Chris Rogers, a 57-year-old ChatGPT user, has heard similar concerns within his circle.
Rogers, a solutions engineer at an IT firm in Oklahoma City, said he’d been using the AI chatbot every day over the past two months. At his job, he uses ChatGPT to help do research and write proposals, and in his personal life, he turns to the chatbot for things such as dietary advice.
From firsthand experience, Rogers said he believed that AI technology could make a positive impact on the lives of people about his age. Still, when he encourages his friends to use ChatGPT — many of whom are 70 and older — he’s often met with hesitation, he said.
“They either feel like they don’t have the time, or they’re not smart enough to do it,” Rogers told Insider. “Sometimes they don’t see how it can benefit them in their life.”
ChatGPT could benefit older adults, especially those who feel lonely.
A researcher at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Population Ageing said older adults could talk to ChatGPT for emotional support during challenging times, share trivia related to their favorite topics, or “explore new hobbies or past times” that align with their interests. That could help older adults feel a greater sense of connectedness, which the Oxford researcher said could enhance their mental well-being.
In fact, the Salesforce research suggested that older nonusers were open to using AI under certain circumstances. Of nonusers, 70% said they would use tools such as ChatGPT more if they had a better understanding of the technology, 64% said they would be more keen on using the technology if it were safer, and 45% said they would use generative AI more of it was integrated into the technology they already used.
AI technology is already proving beneficial for some older adults.
Priscilla O’Kesson, a 77-year-old New Yorker, told Spectrum News she talked to her AI-powered robot, the ElliQ, about 12 to 15 times a day and said it helped alleviate her loneliness and feel more connected to the modern world. One woman said in a blog post that she taught her grandfather how to use ChatGPT and that he found “a new purpose to get out of bed” as a result.
Despite AI’s limitations, Rogers said the technology had “a fit and function for everyone,” regardless of age.
“I know that technology in the future for us is not going to provide utopia,” he said, “but it’s going to provide so many beneficial advancements for humans when used in the right way.”
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