ST. GEORGE — ChatGPT is leading the pack in the artificial intelligence (AI) program race. 

Professors at Utah Tech advise people not to use ChatGPT as their sole source of information, unspecified location and date | Photo courtesy of Pexals, St. George News

The data comes from the survey “50 Most Visited AI Tools of 2023,” a comprehensive guide about the AI tools shaping digital interactions.

The study compares ChatGPT to other AI chatbot tools in terms of user engagement and popularity. The findings indicate that ChatGPT’s advanced language processing capabilities help users interact with the chatbot better than similar programs.

Konnor Young, a professor from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Utah Tech University, told St. George News that word-of-mouth this year helped ChatGPT’s popularity rise.

“ChatGPT has grown into this phenomenon, basically where everybody uses it and knows about it,” Young said. “Everybody talks about it here in America. I don’t know how well it gets talked about outside of America.”

The study found that the United States leads the world in using ChatGPT in their daily lives, with Brazil and India coming in second. Other programs like Character AI, Google Bard and Perplexity AI collectively make 18.69% of the chatbot market’s monthly visits.

“It’s always incredible to talk to different groups of people and see how they are using it. So if you talk to people who are in marketing, they’re using it to come up with slogans and taglines and to write email campaigns for them,” Young said. “If you talk to people that are trying to start a startup, they’re using it to create personas and to create business plans and helping them outline things.”

Young explained that ChatGPT is like having an assistant to run ideas by. A person can type into the program that they have an idea and ChatGPT can outline those ideas and put them into a text format. Another option is to use the program like an advanced Google search.

The team behind the study of ChatGPT analyzed AI tools on monthly traffic, growth and overall market presence, unspecified location and date | Photo courtesy of Pexals, St. George News

“Say I’m sitting down to write code and I have a question on how this code is supposed to be written or how something is supposed to go and how I’m supposed to use it,” Young said. “I go to Google and I say, ‘How do I use this?’ And instead, I would go to ChatGPT and say, ‘How do I use this?’ And I would get a much more in-depth answer about using it.”

The study states that 58% of people access the platform via mobile devices. Men use the program the most at 74.16%. The average engagement is nearly 10 minutes per session. Findings show ChatGPT has 14 billion visits and claims 60% of traffic within the top 50 AI platforms.

Young cautions people not to use ChatGPT as their sole source of information because the program will agree with them. For example, if you ask ChatGPT if a concept is a good business idea, it usually confirms that it is.

“It gets programmed to say yes in almost every situation,” Young said. “So you have to be careful with it because it can lead you astray if you’re using it as your only source of information or advice.

“They also put disclaimers all over the place saying not to use it for legal, financial, or medical advice because those are three places where it’s known to hallucinate badly. And those are places that you can get caught unfortunately if you have false information.”

Stock image | Photo by Marcio Binow Da Silva/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Another professor at Utah Tech University advises students not to depend upon AI too much. English Prof. Dr. Stephen B. Armstrong, Ph.D., said ChatGPT may save time at the start of a project. The ChatGPT app can create plans for essays and compose preliminary drafts in seconds.

But, he said typically, the content generated is shallow, even skimpier than what appears on the Wikipedia website. Armstrong said factual, mechanical, and stylistic errors often creep in with ChatGPT. 

Armstrong pointed out that novelists and poets shun AI. The AI-generated fiction he has read is very bland in style and content. One advantage of the program, he noted, is that ChatGPT could point students writing research papers toward areas they may have yet to think about on their own, offering them new lines of inquiry to pursue. 

“College-level writers, from whom accurate quotes and paraphrases with named sources are expected in their assignments, as such have to follow up on the automated content with genuine research that supports the claims the app offers, which can consume copious time,” Armstrong said in an email to St. George News. “To avoid plagiarism, college-level writers simply can’t use phrasing patterns and diction coughed out for them by software and pass it off as theirs: they have to (if they are honest) reword almost perfectly the language the program supplies.”

Local schools struggle with new ChatGPT and other AI programs in St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Stock photo for representational purposes only, St. George News

Armstrong added that students who don’t have the highest ethical or aesthetic standards tend to use AI/ChatGPT. 

“I’ve found, that turning in the bland and superficial pap the program produces confidence it will get them a passing grade. Determining the extent to which these writers have used the program consumes time better spent by instructors evaluating writing style, structure and content,” Armstrong said. “AI should be a starting point for writers, never the terminus. Writers who strive to produce aesthetically compelling prose should avoid it.”  

The team behind the study analyzed AI tools on monthly traffic, growth and overall market presence. The evaluation was based on traffic data from an SEO tool known as SEMrush. 

According to the study, “AI tools were then ranked from the most to the least visited, each marking its impact on the digital ecosystem. This methodology shows the growth trajectories and user base preferences, providing insights into which AI tools are leading the tech wave and why.”

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