This week, we published a new report on the Top 150 AI tools.
The study reveals many great insights that show how widely and deeply AI is already adopted:
- There are now over 3 billion monthly visits to the top 150 AI tools; ChatGPT leads with 1.67 billion visits.
- ChatGPT, Bing AI, Bard, Claude, and Microsoft Copilot dominate with 66% of Generative AI traffic.
- Over 60 AI tools with 1+ million monthly visits cater to a wide array of needs, from architecture to language learning.
But billions of visits aside, what really stood out to me were two categories that I hadn’t heard of much in artificial intelligence: education and chat.
Surprise Hits in AI: Education and Chat
Three of the top 10 most used AI tools are education platforms, and one – Character.AI – is an AI chatbot portal.
At least to me, that was highly surprising.
Together, these education and chatting platforms generate 237 million monthly visits, almost 10% of all AI tools in the report.
Studying them a bit further gives me an interesting new point of view on the future of work – and it’s an exciting one.
Let’s dive in.
Education AI: Brainly, CourseHero, TurnItIn, ELSA, and Caktus.AI.
Let’s start by looking at some major successes in Education AI.
Three platforms rank in the Top 10 AI tools, (far) ahead of famous AI applications like Midjourney, Perplexity, and Claude:
- Brainly (#6) is a "knowledge-sharing community where hundreds of millions of students and experts put their heads together to crack their toughest homework." Over 250 million users tap into the platform to get personalized advice from its AI.
- CourseHero (#7) aims to help 50 million students with an AI that solves students' questions from any textbook, helps with study questions from YouTube videos, and unlocks 30 million crowdsourced resources on CourseHero for specific courses and exams.
- TurnItIn (#9) probably profits from both platforms above, as it helps teachers and schools detect AI in submitted homework. (Although, in the biggest euphemism I’ve ever seen or heard, they call it "empowering students to do their best, original work.")
Brainly, CoureHero, Turnitin, as well as English speaking AI coach ELSA (#29 in the Top 150, with 25% of users in the 18-24 age bracket) and GPT-portal Caktus.ai (#90, with almost 50% of users under 24) show how a generation is growing up with AI as a natural part of their daily lives.
All these use cases massively impact how we could work in the future.
But more on that in a bit.
Let’s first look at perhaps the most intriguing listing in the Top 150: Character.AI.
AI Chat Buddies: Character.AI
In the midst of what many governments are calling a "loneliness epidemic" and in the aftermath of our COVID-19 lockdowns, it makes sense that AI-powered chat applications like Character.ai and Chai have become highly popular.
Character.AI, the breakout hit, is the #4 most used AI tool and offers over 18 million characters, which users reportedly spend over 2 hours daily chatting with.
The platform was founded by ex-Google engineer Noam Shazeer, who left the search giant because he wanted “to work on the hardest problems in the world rather than just working on small features within a much larger company.”
And indeed, the promise is that the chatbots on his platform let users improve their social skills by providing a safe space to practice communication.
This is resonating to the tune of 175 million monthly visits.
And like the education platforms above, the biggest share of this traffic comes from 18-24-year-olds:
The incredible popularity of Character.AI and other AI chat buddy platforms shows how natural it is for young (future) employees to chat with AI – from trivial conversations to personalized coaching sessions.
This, of course, makes me wonder:
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How AI Natives Will Inspire A Happier Future of Work
The new AI usage data tells me it won’t stop there and that we’ve only seen the very beginning of the AI revolution.
Because as Wharton professor Ethan Mollick this week noted, nearly 100% of students now use AI tools:
“Many people are still not even trying to use AI. That isn’t true for all populations - almost 100% of my students this semester reported using LLMs.” – Ethan Mollick.
In his great deep-dive on our research, the AI Breakdown reminded me that even ChatGPT itself is likely used in large amounts by students, as demonstrated by the drop in traffic during school holidays.
Even a platform like Grammarly, the #3 most used AI tool, counts 18-24-year-olds as the second-highest age group.
The ease with which younger generations confide in AI chat buddies and get personalized tutoring and coaching shows how, in the near-future, we’ll have a generation of AI natives that will seamlessly collaborate with AI in the workplace.
For research, getting personalized help with tasks, and personalized coaching.
While we often hear about using AI to create marketing copy or a social media visual, seeing this data of how especially the employees of the future actually use AI gives us a much better idea of what the future of work should look like in the role of AI in the workplace.
We can imagine a “workplace” where AI gets natively, organically, and seamlessly used in the daily process of getting work done.
Personalized AI coaches can give first-line support to employees stuck on a task or looking for ways to maximize the quality of their outputs.
Employees would upload a new task and tell AI: “Hey I just got this assigned by my manager, but I have no idea where to start. Can you help me out?”
They do all of this in very natural language, in a way that would normally talk to our manager or appear, allowing them to work from anywhere.
They could perform much more efficiently, independently, and productively toward personalized performance goals rather than just showing up to work and hearing what to do today.
Other AI agents can magically do the work that we currently still do manually, as shown in this viral demo of ‘automatic AI’ MultiOn:
In short, it is a world of work in which we can be more meaningfully productive.
How To Prepare Our Workplaces for a Generation of AI Natives
As leaders, we need to understand this newest and highly AI-savvy generation of employees.
First, we need to know at least the basics of their media consumption and tech usage.
Without that, it’ll be hard to lead them, as the gap between AI-enabled and AI-curious (at least, hopefully) will be too large.
I’m not saying we should all spend hours daily on TikTok, but being interested in how they grew up and what tools they use is critical for people-centric leadership.
We also need to prepare our technology.
This generation is growing accustomed to the immediacy and precision of AI feedback, the adaptability of AI learning tools, and the convenience of AI in problem-solving and clearing manual tasks.
The idea of waking up, replying to emails all day, sitting in meetings, and writing documents will seem, at best, quaint to them.
We also need to prepare our technology for a generation that views AI not as a novel or supplementary technology but as an integral part of their working lives.
While I understand there are barriers to AI adoption in companies, if we don’t get started experimenting, we risk a big gap between us and Generation AI.
The future workforce will not just use AI; they will coexist with it.
For more on (getting started with) AI, check out my other articles:
- Overview: AI in the Workplace
- AI in Management: How AI will change the way we manage (+37 tools to try)
- 6 AI Recruiting Tools for Smart and Effective Hiring
- Best AI Accounting Tools for Improved Accuracy and Efficiency in 2024
- 10 AI Marketing Tools to Streamline Your Marketing Workflow
- The 10 best AI Productivity Tools to work smarter, not harder (some of my favorites)
- Our top 10 Free AI Websites to Work Smarter and Faster in 2024 (for common tasks)
- Barriers to AI adoption: Why are certain companies so slow to adopt AI?
- Women and AI: Why the data shows women are at risk of falling behind.
- From Coders to Writers: An honest look at jobs AI will replace
- 18 Ways On How To Use AI at Work in 2024 (+39 Tools Reviewed)
- And another 7 Free AI Tools to Make Your Life 10x Easier