New research by PwC has found that Irish GDP could be 11.6% higher in 2030 as a result of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the equivalent of an additional €48bn.
The potential for AI to impact the Irish economy is slightly lower than the global average of 13.8% by 2030 (US$15.7 trillion), but slightly higher than in other Northern European (9.9% by 2030 and US$1.8 trillion) and Southern European (11.5% by 2030 and US$0.7 trillion) economies. The global average is boosted by regions such as China and Developed Asia where productivity typically lags and there is a lot to be gained from AI in catching up.
The research shows that the majority of the Irish economic gains over the period to 2030 will be driven by enhancements in consumer products, specifically increased product quality (3.7% by 2030) and more personalisation and greater variety of products (4.1%). These stimulate consumer spending and importantly, stimulate additional businesses entering the market, leading to higher quantities of production and more affordable goods. Increased productivity through augmentation of labour and automation of some roles will also drive gains, but to a lesser extent (3.7% by 2030) when compared to total consumption-side enhancements (7.8% by 2030).
The report finds that Ireland has the foundations and potential to successfully adopt AI in the near term, but the right investment in skills and technologies need to be made to translate these strong fundamentals into successful AI adoption.
According to the report, the adoption of ‘no-human-in-the-loop’ technologies (those technologies that remove humans from the process and decision making) will mean that some jobs will inevitably become redundant, but others will be created by the shifts in productivity and greater consumer demand. The analysis concludes that it is likely that the effect on jobs in Ireland in the long term will at least be neutral, if not net positive.
Speaking at the report launch, PwC Ireland Digital Director, Ronan Fitzpatrick said, "The potential size of the AI prize on Ireland’s economy is huge, with significant but varied gains across all sectors, having the potential to transform businesses. The impact on productivity could be competitively transformational and disruptive. Businesses that fail to apply AI could quickly find themselves being undercut on price and turnaround times, and may lose significant market share as a result."
He added, "It is important that Ireland puts itself at the forefront of the AI revolution, investing in the skills and technology needed to successfully adopt AI into commercial business opportunities. The report confirms that Ireland has the foundations to make this successful transition."