HomeJobsAI to boost Ireland’s economy by billions, but many jobs at risk

AI to boost Ireland’s economy by billions, but many jobs at risk

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A report commissioned by Google suggests Ireland’s economy could grow by up to €45bn in the next decade thanks to generative AI, but certain roles could be heavily displaced by this technology.

A new report highlights the ‘double-edged sword’ nature of AI, as it suggests Ireland’s economy could be boosted significantly over the next decade by this technology – but could also displace roughly 160,000 jobs.

The report – carried out by Implement Consulting Group and commissioned by Google – suggests that generative AI alone could boost Ireland’s gross domestic product – or GDP – by between €40bn and €45bn in roughly 10 years. That is when the report estimates generative AI will bring a “peak economic contribution”.

This report suggests the economic gains will come from a productivity boost by those using generative AI, freed time by automation and more time for “value-creating activities”.

The study also suggests that most jobs in Ireland will be boosted by the adoption of generative AI technology, while 34pc of Irish companies surveyed expect “significant productivity impacts” from generative AI in the next five years.

The sectors expected to gain the most benefit from generative AI include those that rely on “knowledge-intensive services” such as those carried out by IT, finance and business services. Ireland’s manufacturing sector is also expected to get a the largest overall boost from AI, largely thanks to the already large size of this sector in Ireland.

Displaced jobs

However, the report also warns that roughly 6pc of Irish jobs – roughly 160,000 positions – are expected to have more than half of their work fully or partially displaced by the automation provided by AI. Some of the roles most likely to be impacted are clerical support workers, contact centre salespeople and translators.

“These workers are likely to see their jobs fundamentally change and may need to be re-employed in new occupations,” the report said. “Displacement mainly occurs where administrative and repetitive knowledge-based tasks make up a large part of the work activities”.

These warnings mirror concerns shared by other reports about generative AI over the past couple of years. A Goldman Sachs report in 2023 predicted that up to 300m full-time jobs could be lost to generative AI worldwide. The report also suggested that clerical support workers are most at risk, with 45pc of these roles being exposed.

But this report also claimed that historic examples of automation replacing jobs also leads to the creation of new roles and occupations. This viewpoint was shared by the report on Ireland’s potential future.

“New jobs in the AI-powered economy are expected to replace those lost due to automation, resulting in unchanged employment levels,” the report said. “The highly exposed jobs represent less than 15pc of the historical level of job changes in Ireland.

“The transition is expected to be gradual, allowing workers time to adapt to new tasks and develop new skills.”

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