The answer largely depends on occupations and the use of technology.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

March 25, 2024

4 Min Read
these states were the leaders and trailers in AI usage.
A PlusDocs study found that Iowa used AI the least and Georgia the most.Khanchit Khirisutchalual/iStock/Getty Images Plus

At a Glance

  • Iowa, Wisconsin, and Mississippi were found to be the states that relied on AI-based searches the least.
  • Georgia, New York, and California ranked as the states with the most AI-based searches.

While generative AI becoming an important ally to many job tasks, not everyone in the U.S. is on-board with science yet. A study by AI productivity platform Plus Docs found Iowa was the state least likely to rely on AI searches. Conversely, the state using AI the most as an ally is Georgia.

The study analyzed Google searches around AI over the last 12 months related to using AI for work tasks. 20 terms, including ones such as ‘AI email writer’ and ‘AI meeting notes,’ were used to identify which states use it the most and least. The AI market size is projected to hit $305.90 billion this year. With the largest market size expected to be in the United States, AI is likely going to become prominent in Americans' lives.

The survey found that employees in Iowa are the least dependent upon AI to help with work tasks, with the lowest average monthly searches of 27.2 per 100,000 residents – 29% below the national average of 38.1 searches per 100,000 people.

Following Iowa is Wisconsin, with only 27.9 searches per 100,000 people, 27% less than the U.S. average. Mississippi is third at 28.1 searches per 100,000 residents – 26% below the national average. 

Not surprisingly, the fact that the trades, transportation, and industry are the main sectors in Iowa (20%), Wisconsin (18%), and Mississippi (21%, contributed to these states’ relatively low use of AI. 

Related:AI, Vehicles Driving Electronics Industry Growth

A recent study also ranks these states low for industries where workers will typically take advantage of AI for tasks such as data analysis. This could explain why the searches in these areas are considerably lower than average, as the states are not employing many workers who need AI in their working lives. 

Other states with low AI use include Alabama with 28.6 monthly searches per 100,000 people, and Arkansas with 29.4 average monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

The states using AI the least at work 

Rank 

State 

Average monthly searches per 100,000 residents 

1. 

Iowa 

27.2 

2. 

Wisconsin 

27.9 

3. 

Mississippi 

28.1 

4. 

Alabama 

28.6 

5. 

Arkansas 

29.4 

6. 

Montana 

29.6 

7. 

Ohio 

30.0 

8. 

New Mexico 

30.2 

9. (=) 

Kentucky 

30.3 

9. (=) 

Indiana 

30.3 

10. 

Louisiana 

30.9 

11. 

South Dakota 

31.0 

12. 

Kansas 

31.3 

 

Heavy AI Users

At the other end of the scale, those in Georgia are already using AI to help make their lives easier at work. The state averaged the most monthly searches per 100,000 residents at 52.1, which is 37% higher than the national average. The most popular terms residents searched for were ‘AI writer,’ ‘AI writer free’ and ‘free AI writer.’ 

Not surprisingly, New York is the second state to make use of AI the most, with 52.0 searches per 100,000 residents – 36% higher than the US average.

Education and health services is the top industry (23%) in New York, which could explain why the state searches more than the average as roles that require teaching can benefit massively from AI to help with email writing and grammar checking. 

Related:AI Takes Command of the Auto Industry

In third is California at 50.2 searches per 100,000 people, which is 32% higher than the national average search rate. 

Though California is home to Silicon Valley and a lot of high technology, the leading industry there and in Georgia remain trades, transportation, and utilities, with 17% of workers in California and 21% in Georgia being employed in those sectors. The study suggests that the heavy use of AI in other employment sectors could be the reason those states are ranked among the leaders in AI use.

Maryland and Virginia round out the top five states, with 49.6 searches per 100,000 residents and 49.4 monthly searches per 100,000 people respectively. 

The states using AI the most at work

Rank 

State 

Average monthly searches per 100,000 residents 

1. 

Georgia 

52.1 

2. 

New York 

52.0 

3. 

California 

50.2 

4. 

Maryland 

49.6 

5. 

Virginia 

49.4 

6. 

Florida 

48.6 

7. 

Texas 

47.5 

8. 

Massachusetts 

46.8 

9. 

Nevada 

46.6 

10. 

New Jersey 

46.1 

11. 

Hawaii 

45.5 

12. 

Washington 

45.4 

 

Daniel Li, CEO and co-founder of Plus Docs, said in a statement, “It’s interesting to see which states workers are utilizing AI the most, with Georgia embracing the technology far more than anywhere else in the US. “This perhaps reflects how comfortable both companies and people are with embracing the new technology to help with daily tasks, with some still hesitant to embrace the technological development." 

Li fully supported programs such as ChatGPT to help workers perform tasks faster and more efficiently. But he added, “It’s important not to become overly accepting of everything AI provides. You still need to fact-check, as AI may not be able to access the most up-to-date data and you may have to source this yourself. Finding this balance ensures you are still providing accurate information to your coworkers, while speeding up the process.” 

Related:Balancing the Promise, Progress, & Problems of AI

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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