Generative AI is here to stay, but research highlights user concerns around misinformation and transparency

New international study shows optimism among parents and teens, alongside the desire for safeguards
13 November 2023
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WASHINGTON, DC, November 13 – At its 2023 Annual Conference, held today, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) released a new report, Generative AI: Emerging Habits, Hopes and Fears, which explores the emerging awareness, perceptions, and early use of generative AI tools among parents and teens across three countries. 

Drawing on research conducted in the US, Germany, and Japan, the report examines similarities and differences in how the rise of generative AI (genAI) is being received culturally and between generations, what respondents’ hopes and concerns are for the future of this powerful technology, and practical approaches to online safety, ethics, and parenting. 

Key findings from the report include:

  • When it comes to generative AI, teens and parents are fairly evenly matched in their awareness of the technology — a departure from most other tech topics. What’s more, teens agree that parents have an edge in the perceived understanding of it, at least for now. Nearly half of US and Japanese teens (45% and 47%, respectively) believe that their parents know more about genAI than they do, with roughly one-third of German teens (36%) saying the same.
  • Despite their concerns, a majority of parents feel positive about their teens using generative AI. Having experienced the proliferation of mobile devices and social media, parents are clear-eyed about both the costs and benefits of genAI even as these tools are just emerging. 66% of US parents, 70% of German parents, and 59% of Japanese parents report feeling positive about their teens’ use of genAI.
  • Most parents and teens expect and accept that genAI is here to stay and that it will be more embedded and ubiquitous in work, school, and their personal lives. They recognize that they must adapt and learn to use genAI to complement their human abilities if they are to thrive in future academic and work settings. 65% of all parents say using genAI tools will be a vital skill for themselves and their children to remain competitive in school or career (with 66% of teens in agreement). 60% of all parents say genAI will augment or supplement humans, but we’ll still need human creativity (with 58% of teens in agreement). 

“Parents and teens are certainly aware of the cultural and technological significance of the moment we’re in,” said Stephen Balkam, FOSI CEO. “We find in this study that they are still working, like the rest of us, to understand the exact magnitude of the change that these tools will have on their lives. But it is heartening to see a strong sense of optimism alongside their legitimate concerns.”

"This research is an important step in aiding our collective understanding of how teens and parents around the world currently perceive and interact with generative AI,” said Mindy Brooks, General Manager Kids and Families at Google. “We are encouraged by the findings which show the majority of the participants are already engaging with the technology and see positive opportunities to use it to fuel creativity and learning. This report and our partnership with FOSI, will continue to help inform how we can take a responsible, thoughtful approach to introducing new genAI features and resources that empower teens and families to safely explore all that this technology has to offer."

This study was supported by Google and conducted by Kantar, with topline findings presented at the FOSI 2023 Annual Conference, New Frontiers in Online Safety. Each year, FOSI convenes the premier event in online safety, bringing together leaders from across industry, government, academia, and NGOs. This year’s agenda includes topics such as content moderation, privacy policies and practices, and digital wellbeing, features a keynote address by The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation & Technology, remarks by FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter and Ofcom Online Safety Director, Gill Whitehead.


Family Online Safety Institute

Emily Mulder

(209) 380-0940



About FOSI:

The Family Online Safety Institute is an international, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all. FOSI's membership includes many of the leading Internet and telecommunications companies around the world.

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