About 13 million American adults are using ChatGPT, TikTok, and other AI-powered search tools instead of Google, Bing, and the usual engines, a number that will grow to 90 million by 2027, according to data from consulting firm Activate.
AI is luring users away from conventional search engines because it’s able to provide more precise and more closely tailored answers, Activate CEO Michael Wolf said in a presentation at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in late October.
The search industry, with its $100 billion in annual ad revenue, “is up for grabs,” he added.
“Generative AI fundamentally changes the model for search because the results are no longer links,” he said. “It serves up your information already packaged and ready to use.”
The more familiar an AI is with a user’s history, the more customized its responses to queries will be.
TikTok will take an early lead, Wolf said, because users spend an average of 54 minutes a day with it, compared to 49 on YouTube, 33 on Instagram, and 31 on Facebook, he pointed out. The more time a user spends on an app, the more data the user leaves behind about habits and preferences.
Google, Bing, and other major search engines are already incorporating AI to help hone their responses to queries. However, people are spending more and more time on social media and entertainment platforms, Wolf noted, so they’re likely to use those for Internet searches without having to switch to another site.
The typical American adult spends a staggering 13 hours a day interacting with various digital technologies, ranging from tablets and smartphones to social media, streaming, and gaming sites, Activate data shows.
AI also is turning everyone into a content creator, Wolf said. By speaking a few sentences into a chatbot, a person can create stories, photos, videos, and other works without knowing how to code.
Among Wolf’s other predictions:
- By 2027, almost all Americans will have Internet access through their television sets, driving greater demand for more content and contributing even more data about their habits and preferences to marketing companies.
- Also by 2027, the typical American will have 5.8 subscriptions to streaming services, compared to 4.9 now.
- With streaming services offering lower monthly fees if viewers are willing to see ads, ad revenues among streaming services will grow 25 percent annually over the next three years.
TRENDPOST: Our ability to interact with other humans shrivels in proportion to the amount of time we spend devoting our attention to screens, streams, and apps. Having a heart-to-heart with a chatbot is not a substitute for human contact, even if some of us might prefer it to people.