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What Does Gen Z Think About AI? We Asked 1,821 People To Find Out

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With the release of ChatGPT and new AI tools on social media sites like Snapchat, AI is quickly finding its way into the daily lives of Gen Zers. Experts and students alike have little idea how AI will change the job landscape, human creativity, and privacy. Many Gen Zers are getting jobs for the first time in an already volatile market. A large percentage are also known for being champions of social and economic justice, including reproductive rights. According to a Her Campus Media survey of 1,821 Gen Zers conducted in August 2023, Gen Z has huge concerns about AI, even as the generation that grew up with exponential technology growth. 

This survey was conducted by GenZology, Her Campus Media’s Gen Z insights arm. 97% of the August survey respondents were women, while 1.6% were men. 70.6% of the respondents are also currently in college. So how has Gen Z been using AI — and what do they really think about it? 

How common is AI use among Gen Zers?  

62.8% of those surveyed have been exposed to AI during their jobs or studies, whereas 37.2% still haven’t at all. 63% of respondents said they have tried the Open AI platform ChatGPT. A little over 5% have used others like Microsoft Bing or Google Bard, and 30% haven’t used any at all. 

More popular among Gen Zers are virtual assistants and personalized streaming services that use AI, like Spotify. 63.3% of survey respondents have used virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa over the last six months. A whopping 90.1% said they used Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify, which create personalized streaming and music recommendations. 82.6% also used navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze, and 53.5% used personalized shopping. 

Newer developments like self-driving taxi services are also all over TikTok these days. A lower number of Gen Zers, only 8.6%, have used autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars and drones. These developments still have yet to become widespread among this generation, even as other AI technologies are part of Gen Z’s daily lives. 

Gen Z feels conflicted about AI.

AI is a hot topic among younger generations, because nobody knows where exactly AI will go or how much it will be able to do in the coming years. One thing is clear, however, and that is that the introduction of new AI technologies creates ethical issues for Gen Z. 61.2% of survey respondents said they have ethical concerns, and are worried about possible biases in AI algorithms as they become more pervasive. 63.8% are also concerned about AI replacing jobs and the subsequent threat of possible unemployment.

The biggest area of concern Gen Zers reported on this survey is loss of human creativity. 75.5% of respondents are concerned about losses in human creativity and decision-making. This response echoes current issues in the news: In May 2023, 11,500 Hollywood screenwriters in the Writers Guild of America went on strike over concerns that AI would take over their jobs and disputes over pay.

How does Gen Z think AI will shape the future of work?

AI is bound to have differing levels of impact on the workplace, depending on the industry. However, most survey respondents think AI will make some changes in their field of work. 39.2% of those surveyed said they believed AI will make significant changes, like transforming or automating job roles. 36.9% believe it will enhance or complement current jobs held by humans, whereas 9.2% think AI will only minimally impact their field. 

Many survey respondents are also uncertain, reflecting the unknowns AI brings. 14.7% of respondents said they were unsure about what changes AI would bring to the workplace. 

Although this survey can’t show what everyone in Gen Z thinks about AI, it does reveal how pervasive some new technologies have become among the younger generation. It also points to ethical concerns that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Despite this, Gen Z is the most plugged-in generation, and many Gen Zers will start jobs with new technologies that previous generations could only dream about. AI can offer progress, whether it be to streamline work or maximize efficiency, though that doesn’t come without drawbacks in other areas. Whatever the case may be, Gen Z is sure to be at the forefront.

Lia Freeman is a Her Campus National Writer for the Career and Life sections. She writes weekly articles along with covering more timely content. She recently graduated from the University of Sheffield in England, where she majored in philosophy, religious studies and ethics. Lia was the opinion editor for her university newspaper and the Deputy Head of News at her university's radio station. She also interned with a humanitarian journalist team called The India Story Agency, where she did social media, background research, and writing for work appearing in the British Medical Journal. Lia has freelanced in news and lifestyle for The Tab, Empoword Journalism, and Liberty Belle Magazine. She also occasionally publishes her own stories on Medium! Lia loves road-tripping and camping with her friends, and pretending she could be a Wimbledon star on the tennis court. Oftentimes you'll find her lost in a book or lost online. She is passionate about covering social issues and education, and hearing women's voices in the media.