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Survey: 50% of consumers can detect AI-generated content

April 9, 2024

A study has uncovered how consumers interact with AI vs human content in 2024. As more people start to use AI, consumer awareness of the tell-tale signs of content which is not human made is likely to increase. To put this to the test, Bynder ran a study to reveal how many people can tell when content is written fully by AI and how this impacts their engagement and opinions of the associated brand.

In a survey of 2,000 UK and US participants, Bynder presented two articles; one written by ChatGPT and one by a trained copywriter. Both had the same brief: “Write 300 words on how to clean your car”.

50% of consumers can spot AI-generated copy

The study concluded that 50 per cent of consumers can correctly identify copy that is AI-generated.

Millennials (aged 25-34) were the most successful at spotting non-human content, aligning with the age of consumers most likely to use AI when creating content.

US consumers are the most clued up on the signs of AI-generated content, with American participants 10 per cent more likely to spot when content is AI-generated than UK consumers. A study in March 2023 found that 58 per cent of US adults have heard of ChatGPT, but 42 per cent have never heard of it. The number of Americans aware of the AI means they are more likely to spot the content it generates.

Over half (55 per cent) of US participants correctly spotted which copy was written using AI, in comparison with 45 per cent of UK-based consumers. A study of UK citizens found only 26 per cent have used a generative AI tool, significantly less than those in the US. This correlates with the findings from Bynder’s study, with UK consumers 10 per cent less likely to spot AI-generated copy as they are less likely to use an AI tool such as ChatGPT.

More than half of consumers felt more engaged with AI-generated content

When presented with the two articles (without being told which was which) 56 per cent of participants said that they preferred the AI version over the human-made article.

However, when quizzed on their attitudes towards reading copy that they suspect is AI-generated in general, 52 per cent of consumers cited that they will become less engaged.

Participants aged 16-24 were the only age group to find the content created by a human more engaging than the AI-generated version. Of those in this age bracket who had a preference, 55 per cent voted for the human-written article as the most engaging.

The consumers find brands using AI impersonal

Participants were asked how they felt about reading AI-generated content on various platforms. In terms of website copy, 26 per cent of participants would feel the brand is impersonal if the copy does not feel human-written, and 20% would feel that the brand is lazy.

Similarly, for social media copy which appears to be AI-generated, 25 per cent of consumers would feel the brand is impersonal, 20 per cent untrustworthy, 20 per cent would feel they are lazy and 19 per cent would think they are uncreative.

If a consumer is interacting with a chatbot that they suspect is AI-generated over 30 per cent would think the associated brand is impersonal.

Warren Daniels, Chief Marketing Officer at Bynder explains how to navigate AI-generated written content, saying: “As AI advances and an increasing number of marketers use it for content creation, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of best practice. Our research goes to show that as AI use increases, the most important element of a marketing campaign should be the human touch. AI offers significant benefits for marketers. Each year marketers are faced with the challenge of creating and managing more assets than the year prior, and the ever-advancing AI tools are a revolutionary way to aid this task. However, responsible AI should always be prioritised.”

Categories: AI, Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research