Study claiming Bhutan leads the World in ChatGPT usage draws skepticism over methodology

Study claiming Bhutan leads the World in ChatGPT usage draws skepticism over methodology

Bhutan AI Society intervenes

A recent claim circulating on social media suggests that Bhutan holds the record for the highest proportion of its population using ChatGPT, a leading conversational AI developed by OpenAI. However, the methodology underpinning this assertion raised significant doubts about its validity.

According to the post, an impressive 15.96% of Bhutanese are engaging with the technology, purportedly making the Himalayan nation the top global user of the platform. According to the claim, Bhutan leads in the adoption of ChatGPT, with a notable 15.96% of the population using the technology. This claim also places Brunei and the UK at significant but considerably lower adoption rates. Brunei follows with a significant 9.37% utilization rate of ChatGPT while the UK ranks 34th and the US ranks 39th on the list.

“Leading the pack, Bhutan demonstrates an impressive adoption rate, with approximately 15.96% of the population engaging with ChatGPT. This signifies a widespread integration of Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies into digital ecosystems within the country,” the post on the site read.

The source of the claim used data from Ahrefs, a tool primarily known for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and backlink analysis, to estimate the number of unique monthly visitors from each country accessing ChatGPT. It also used population statistics from worldometers. This approach has been criticized for its simplicity, especially given that Ahrefs does not have the capability to track individual unique visitors to specific sites, let alone a closed platform like ChatGPT.

Ahrefs is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company based in Singapore. It is an all-in-one SEO toolset for growing search traffic and optimizing websites.

The Bhutan AI Society experts point out that using Ahrefs for such purposes is unconventional and unreliable. “Ahrefs tools are designed for analyzing website traffic and optimizing search engine presence, not for tracking user engagement with specific applications like ChatGPT,” explained a digital analytics specialist who wished to remain anonymous.

Furthermore, upon contacting Ahrefs, the company clarified that their platform does not support the tracking capabilities attributed to it by the article. “The ‘methodology’ mentioned is the author’s interpretation and not supported by any data provided by Ahrefs,” a spokesperson from the company stated.

Meanwhile, the utilization of AI-powered chatbots has surged, offering a myriad of applications from customer service to personal assistance. Among these, ChatGPT stands out as a sophisticated conversational AI, captivating users worldwide with its natural language processing capabilities.

By Tashi Namgyal, Thimphu