The Daily Telegraph
Most young people use AI to do their homework and emails
‘It’s encouraging to see young people embracing technology so quickly and using it in their daily lives’
MORE than half of young people in the UK have used an AI chatbot such as CHATGPT in the last year to help them with schoolwork, emails or their job, research suggests.
Nominet’s latest annual Digital Youth Index, which examines young people’s online habits and attitudes, showed that 53 per cent said they had used a chatbot and were curious about how they could use them in their lives, while 54 per cent said they were concerned about the impact AI could have on jobs in the future. The survey also found that while 94 per cent of young people feel safe online, 76 per cent said they had been exposed to an upsetting experience.
That is a seven per cent rise on last year, with young people reporting an increase in exposure to fake news and hate speech, both up four per cent, as well as sexual content, up by six per cent.
Paul Fletcher, Nominet’s chief executive, said: “While society at large grapples with artificial intelligence at all levels, it’s encouraging to see young people embracing technology so quickly and using it in their daily lives.
“We must continue to encourage this inquisitive nature from the next generation – and despite their adoption of AI, many still have concerns about the potential impact on their future. When it comes to online safety, it looks like young Brits are growing in confidence, but the rise in exposure to upsetting content highlights that tackling online harm remains important to young people.”
The study, conducted by Opinium, questioned 4,000 people aged between eight and 25 in the UK.
The young people surveyed claimed to spend an average of between four and five hours a day online – mostly on social media, chatting with friends or accessing entertainment. Most (95 per cent) said they were on at least one social media network, including children who are under the age limit for some of those services.
According to the study, Twitter, now known as X, was identified as the platform where the most respondents (77 per cent) had seen distressing content.
The study also indicated that 14 per cent of young people lack access to a laptop or desktop computer, while 15 per cent did not have broadband access at home. Meanwhile, 11 per cent said they had to change or cancel their internet package this year as a direct result of the cost of living crisis.
“Our data shows us the reality that despite young people’s lives and their education system going online, a concerning 14 per cent of two million of them still don’t have access to a laptop or desktop computer.”
“This has the potential to significantly disadvantage those that would benefit the most,” Mr Fletcher added.