Ofcom: Half of internet users worry about Gen AI’s impact on society

Ofcom has revealed that 58% of internet users are concerned about the future of Generative AI in society.

According to Ofcom’s 2023 Online Nation report, internet users are “conscious” of the potential risks of generative AI, as it was revealed that 79% of teenagers online aged between 13 and 17 are now using generative AI tools and services.

According to the report, UK Teenagers and children are far “more likely” to adopt generative artificial intelligence (AI) compared to adults.

The report also revealed that 40% of younger children aged 7-12 are also adopting the technology, with Snapchat My AI, which became freely available to all Snap users in April this year, being named the most popular generative AI tool among children and teens.

According to the research, Snapchat My AI is used by over 51% of online 7–17-year-olds.

ChatGPT is the most widely used generative AI service among internet users aged 16 and above (23%), it added.

“Getting rapidly up to speed with new technology comes as second nature to Gen Z, and generative AI is no exception,” Ofcom Group Director of Strategy and Research, Yih-Choung Teh said.

“While children and teens are driving its early adoption, we’re also seeing older internet users exploring its capabilities, both for work and for leisure.”

However, Teh added that the trade body also recognises that some people are concerned about what AI means for the future.

He said: “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.”