Technology

AI in Daily Life: People Increasingly Embrace Predictive Text

Image Credit: Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

One of modern life’s time-saving tools, predictive text in messaging apps is now standard. But does everyone use it? Short answer is no, as 56% of Americans age 13 and over say they don’t use the technology very often at all. But 44% – the percentage of respondents who do use it – is still substantial.

That number will likely only grow, as 59% of respondents said they are at least somewhat comfortable with an algorithm sussing out the end of this sentence.

Unsurprisingly, the 18% of Americans who are “very comfortable” with predictive texting are also its heaviest users, with 54% of them saying they use the tech “very often.” People who are “somewhat comfortable” with predictive text are only 12% in the using it “very often” camp.

Breaking it down by age, the hard split occurs with Americans over the age of 55. They use it “very” or “somewhat” often at a 31% clip, roughly 38% less than Americans under the age of 55.

Perhaps due to the faster pace of urban living, city residents are much more likely to use predictive text “very often.”

But it’s not just in typical demographics where differences lie; for instance, people who do more than 75% of their banking online use predictive text “very often” at nearly double the rate of all other banking customers. There is an element of implicit trust in online banking; perhaps the same can be said for allowing your phone to finish your thoughts.

And then there’s this: People who like the idea of getting honest-to-goodness robotic implants to boost their brainpower are 40% more likely to use predictive text “very” or “somewhat” often compared to Americans who would prefer to not have to put “cyborg” on their Census forms.

And while predictive text is pretty cool, Gmail’s AI-powered “Smart Reply” feature starts drifting into what feels like the 22nd century.

In a nutshell: Google’s computers read emails sent to you, and based on both the content of the email and your prior responses to other emails, and offer up a trio of short answers in reply. 

In total, 24% of all Gmail users use this feature either “all” or “some” of the time.

Much like traditional predictive text, Gmail users who are aware of automatic reply – and who are very comfortable with the idea of predictive text – are the heaviest users of the feature.

Furthermore, the AI-reply in Gmail is used most by those under 25 years old, with each descending age group using it less and less.

Between predictive text and the more advanced AI Google has rolled out, technology and our thought processes are getting more and more synced up. It’s hard to say what’s next, but the future looks bright for programs that finish – and start – our communications with one another.

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