Early adopters' recommendations are shaping the AI landscape.
Word of mouth can contribute significant growth for a product: It's free, and people trust it. When users are willing to share their experiences with friends and family, it can help propel new technology forward faster than expected. This year's boom in Generative AI platforms presented users with unique challenges. When many people were just starting to use and understand ChatGPT, several new players arrived – Bing, Bard, and Claude. This made it difficult for users to keep up and choose the right platform for their needs.
This cognitive load of deciding between new technology options can be a heavy burden for consumers and businesses. Businesses can enlist the help of research firms, consultants, and academic experts to help them decide how Generative AI can influence their business and which platform to integrate into their tools. In an August Pulse Labs IQ™ story, we reported how platforms have already established their uniqueness, with distinct identities tailored for both discovery and utilization. So businesses looking to incorporate Generative AI into a product need to consider which Generative AI platform will best serve the needs of their customers or internal users.
Individuals don't have the tools businesses do, and so we were curious to know how users choose which AI platform to use.
Early adopters who have positive user experiences feel the responsibility to pay it forward
We asked 197 members of our panel "Have you recommended an AI engine to a friend or family member?" Over half of study participants had!
We found that many of the participants perceived themselves as early adopters. When they discovered the ease of using different Generative AI tools, had repeated positive user experiences, and built an understanding of how AI could benefit the people around them, they felt a responsibility to spread the word. Beyond the 'cool' factor of the new technology, people who spread the word were positively impacted by the personalized experience they had and how well Generative AI helped them achieve their specific goals.
“I was on the wave of AI before it became popular with everyone. I definitely did a little bit of word of mouth with My circle. I told them hey this can write up your résumé, this can write up a cover letter, can write up an insurance claim. AI can do a ton of things and then you edit it and that’s why I advertise to people like my coworker and family members.”
This desire to share their positive experiences resonated across the majority of users. A substantial 59% indicated their readiness to be part of the organic growth engine and share their preferred AI platforms recommendations with friends and family. Men, at 64%, and individuals from the Gen X category, at 68%, exhibited an even greater enthusiasm for advocacy of their preferred AI platform.
We asked which platforms users would recommend, and ChatGPT emerged as the leader, with an impressive 60% of users endorsing it. Next was Bard, securing a respectable 24% likelihood of user endorsements. Even voice assistants like Siri and Alexa were mentioned by a few users as platforms they would readily recommend. In an earlier Pulse Labs IQ report we had observed that AI as a concept is not new to users. Many users (22%) state that their first interaction with AI was via tools that have been on the market for years, such as Siri, Alexa, Snapchat or chatbots. This would explain why several users indicated that they recommended smart-home devices to their peers for AI access.
“My friend was looking for a smart home assistant to help manage their daily tasks and provide information. Knowing the benefits of AI-driven virtual assistants, I suggested they try out a popular AI-powered device that could help them with everything from setting reminders and playing music to providing weather updates and answering general knowledge questions.”
For many, ChatGPT was the first AI platform they interacted with and the one they were most familiar with, and so it felt natural to them to recommend it. Users found ChatGPT's overall user experience positive, and they especially appreciated the speed of response and its overall versatility. Bard was seen to be an emerging good alternative.
“ChatGPT. This was the first AI chat I learned about from a coworker who said it was really cool. After I used it, I was so impressed that I told my wife and friends about the tool online. It's accuracy is pretty decent and seems like the most advanced tool out there right now compared to all the others being developed.”
“I recommended Bard to my friend who is a writer. He was looking for an AI engine that could help him generate creative text, and I thought Bard would be a perfect fit for him.”
Users especially appreciated Bard for more ‘creative’ use cases, and recommended it for writing related tasks. As users build their understanding of how well different Generative AI platforms are able (or not) to give them personalized experiences tailored to their unique needs, they are starting to be more specific in their recommendations to friends and family.
By looking at how individuals are using AI, we can see trends that impact businesses and the product professionals that are responsible for incorporating Generative AI apps, websites, and more.
- Businesses looking to adopt AI should collaborate with research professionals: The excitement around generative AI may be nearing its summit. Gartner places generative AI on the Peak of Inflated Expectations on the 2023 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. “Such embryonic technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters.” As businesses experiment with these tools, they should collaborate with AI technology providers, research institutions, and industry peers who can provide businesses with valuable insights and shared resources to navigate the evolving landscape
- Personalization can unlock growth: For AI, word of mouth recommendations are significantly influenced by a platform's capacity to provide responses for users' specific needs and use cases. Users increasingly expect a personalized experience on any app or website they interact with, and so understanding user personas and how to deliver unique experiences for different audiences is key.
- Invest in user experience: A great UX is key to organic growth and adoption. Users are unlikely to recommend something that is hard to use or has a lot of issues. The easy interface of ChatGPT combined with its innovative portal to a new technology. According to VentureBeat, “AI success does not solely exist within the confines of the algorithm. The effectiveness of the outputs from the standpoint of those who receive them is equally important.” Businesses in any industry can win by creating a positive and seamless user experience for their products.
In the context of adopting generative AI, early adopters, who embrace innovations ahead of others, play a key role. They give validity to these new platforms through positive experiences, influencing wider adoption by showcasing their value and credibility.
Stay tuned for more insights from Pulse Labs IQ™ in our upcoming stories. Want to learn more about how our research can help you build a great user experience for your website, mobile app, or other tech products?