With generative artificial intelligence sure to dominate CES 2024, new Morning Consult research finds that user exposure towards AI applications has been mostly positive. Though general interest in generative AI has stalled since the beginning of last year, millennials who have used AI applications are the most likely to describe them as helpful and easy to use, followed closely by Gen Z.
Millennials are also most likely to report using AI applications in multiple scenarios across their day-to-day lives, such as helping with ideation or for shopping recommendations. This is all a good foundation upon which companies in the space can further message their tools’ benefits.
More people use AI tools for pleasure than business
Among those who have used AI tools at least once a month, entertainment and leisure purposes dominate. But no matter the scenario, millennials are much more likely than the average user to say they have used AI applications.
Millennials Are the Most Prolific AI Users
What’s resonating with millennials and cutting across multiple industries is recommendations. Over 6 in 10 millennials say they use AI at least monthly for shopping and entertainment suggestions. As brands invest even more heavily on AI tools, those numbers will likely tick up, and companies that have AI tools but don’t yet market or productize them should do so.
Use among Gen Z is much more muted by comparison, but they are more likely to turn to AI tools for schoolwork than other cohorts. That said, Gen Z’s AI interactions may be more frequent than what’s reported, given that many platforms which they use (think filters on TikTok or Instagram) seamlessly incorporate the technology into their offerings.
The vast majority of users find GAI tools fun, easy and helpful
For those who’ve been exposed to AI tools, sentiment leans positive. But notably, Gen Zers are less likely to feel positively about nearly all the characteristics surveyed, and the largest gap is on truthfulness: Gen Zers were 8 percentage points less likely than the average AI user to say the term describes the technology “very well” or “somewhat well.”
Most Exposure to AI Tools is Positive, but Gen Z Sentiment is More Muted
This could have to do with the fact that much higher shares of Gen Z generative AI tool users said they’ve experienced issues when using them, such as AI applications misunderstanding prompts or producing incorrect outputs. Almost three-quarters of Gen Zers (71%) said they've experienced issues, compared with 59% of U.S. adults and 64% of millennials who said the same.
Other Morning Consult research also shows that U.S. consumer trust in generative AI search to be helpful and accurate has declined, with much steeper drops for Gen Z. Last March, 52% of Gen Z adults said they “completely” or “mostly” trust an AI-powered search engine to provide factual results, which dropped to 30% in December. Developers will need to invest heavily into growing the reliability of their tools' output if they want AI applications to be permanently part of people’s digital lives, as opposed to just a passing fad.
Jordan Marlatt contributed to this analysis.