A new study has revealed that despite artificial intelligence (AI) products like ChatGPT being “much hyped”, very few people are regularly using them.

Researchers surveyed 12,000 people across six countries, including Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan, the UK, and the USA. However, only 2% of British respondents saying that they use AI tools on a daily basis.

The report’s lead author, Dr. Richard Fletcher, has concluded to BBC that there is a “mismatch” between the “hype” around AI and the “public interest” in it. The study from Reuters Institute and Oxford University has discovered that a segment of young people are leaning more into the trend, with 18 to 24-year-olds the most eager adopters of the new technology.

Large parts of the public are not particularly interested in generative AI, and 30% of people in the UK say they have not heard of any of the most prominent products, including ChatGPT,” Dr Fletcher said.

The study examined views on generative AI tools – the new generation of products that can respond to simple text prompts with human-sounding answers, images, audios and videos. Generative AI first burst into public consciousness when ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, and set off a race across tech giants who have poured billions of dollars into developing their own unique AI features.

However, this new research indicates that, despite the money and attention being lavished on Generative AI, it has still not become a part of people’s routine internet use. However, the majority of people expect generative AI to have a large impact on society within the next give years, particularly for news, media and science. While many believe generative AI will make their own lives better, they are generally pessimistic about its impact on  society as a whole.

People’s hopes and fears for generative AI vary a lot depending on the sector,” Dr Fletcher told the BBC. “People are generally optimistic and about the use of generative AI in science and healthcare, but more wary about it being used in news and journalism, and worried about the effect it might have on job security.”

This research shows that it is important for everyone, including governments, regulators and giant companies, to apply nuance to the ever-growing debate around AI.