Generative AI Adoption: A Slow Burn Among the Public


Generative AI is one of the hottest topics in tech right now, yet its adoption among the general public seems to lag behind the industry hype. According to a recent study by Oxford University's Reuters Institute, only 25% of Britons have used a generative AI tool. This relatively low adoption rate is surprising given the extensive discussions about the transformative potential of AI in various sectors, including marketing.

Despite the buzz, the data tells a different story. Only 2% of Britons use ChatGPT daily, and just 29% use it at least once a month. When it comes to other tools like Google Gemini or Microsoft Copilot, the figures are even lower, with only 7% using these tools at least monthly. Notably, 58% of people have heard of ChatGPT, but awareness drops sharply for other tools like Microsoft Copilot (17%), Bing AI (17%), and Google Gemini (15%). A significant 30% of the population hasn't even heard of any generative AI tool.

What’s even more intriguing is the age divide in generative AI usage. Younger generations (18-24) are much more likely to have used these tools, with 56% having used ChatGPT, compared to just 16% of those aged 55 and above. The study also highlights a split in use cases, with 24% using AI for obtaining information and 28% for creating media. However, public perception is mixed; 41% expect AI to make society worse, while only 22% believe it will improve things. A notable 54% are either uncertain or don't believe AI will impact their lives at all.

Key Findings

Breakdown of Generative AI Tool Usage:

  • 25% of the UK population has used a generative AI tool in private life.
  • 20% have used it for professional purposes.
  • 2% use ChatGPT daily; 29% use it at least monthly.
  • 7% use Google Gemini or Microsoft Copilot at least monthly.

Brand Recognition:

  • 58% have heard of ChatGPT.
  • Steep drop for other tools like Microsoft Copilot (17%), Bing AI (17%), Google Gemini (15%).
  • 30% haven't heard of any generative AI tool.
  • Low recognition for tools like Midjourney (8%) and Grok (4%).

Age Divide:

  • 56% of 18-24 year-olds have used ChatGPT.
  • Only 16% of those aged 55+ have used ChatGPT.

Cross-Country Comparison:

  • Similar patterns of low adoption and awareness were observed in other countries like the USA, Denmark, France, Argentina, and Japan.

Use Cases:

  • 24% use generative AI for getting information.
  • 28% use it for creating media.
  • Specific use cases include answering factual questions, generating ideas, and data analysis.

Public Perception:

  • 41% expect AI to make society worse.
  • 22% expect it to make society better.
  • 54% are uncertain or believe AI will not impact their lives.

Marketing Insights

The disparity between industry enthusiasm and public adoption of generative AI presents both a challenge and an opportunity for marketers. Here’s how the findings can inform your strategies:

Awareness Campaigns:

Given the low awareness of tools other than ChatGPT, marketers should prioritize educational campaigns to introduce these tools to the broader public. Highlighting specific use cases and benefits can make the technology more relatable.

Targeting Younger Demographics:

The younger generation shows higher engagement with generative AI tools. Tailor your marketing strategies to leverage this demographic's tech-savviness by offering more interactive and AI-driven experiences.

Addressing Skepticism:

With a significant portion of the public uncertain about AI's impact, transparent communication about the benefits and ethical considerations of AI can help build trust. Use case studies and testimonials to showcase positive impacts.

Actionable Idea:

Create a series of webinars or online tutorials that demystify generative AI. These sessions could cover practical applications in everyday life and professional settings, aiming to bridge the knowledge gap and encourage adoption.


Q: Why is the adoption of generative AI tools still relatively low among the general public?
A: The low adoption rate can be attributed to a lack of awareness and understanding of these tools, as well as mixed public perceptions about their benefits and potential societal impact.

Q: What can marketers do to increase the adoption of generative AI tools?
A: Marketers can focus on educational campaigns, target younger demographics who are more likely to use these tools, and address public skepticism through transparent communication and real-world use cases.

Q: How is the usage of generative AI tools split between personal and professional purposes?
A: According to the study, 25% of users engage with generative AI tools in their private life, while 20% use them for professional purposes.

Actionable Takeaway

Actionable Takeaway:
To boost the adoption of generative AI, marketers should launch comprehensive educational campaigns that demonstrate the tools' practical applications and benefits. These campaigns should include webinars, tutorials, and real-world case studies to bridge the knowledge gap and build trust among the public.

Additional Research Data Points

  1. A Gartner report from 2023 highlighted that only 30% of organizations reported satisfactory ROI from AI investments, emphasizing the need for better public understanding and application of AI tools.
  2. According to a McKinsey survey from 2023, industries like healthcare and finance are seeing faster adoption of AI technologies, with 35% of firms reporting significant AI-driven improvements in operational efficiency.
  3. A PWC study in 2023 found that 45% of consumers are excited about AI's potential, but 60% want more information on how it impacts their lives, stressing the need for better communication and transparency.


  1. Gartner's 2023 AI Adoption Report
  2. McKinsey's Global Survey on AI 2023
  3. PWC's Consumer AI Survey 2023