New PWC research on ‘The economic impact of artificial intelligence on Ireland’s economy’, has found that AI will present a significant commercial and economic opportunity for Ireland. Wider adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) could boost Ireland’s GDP in 2030 by 11.6% to €48 billion, the study suggests.
“The potential size of the AI prize on Ireland’s economy is huge, with significant but varied gains across all sectors,” said Ronan Fitzpatrick, PwC Ireland’s Digital Director.
According to the study, all fields are set to benefit from the impact of AI, and there will be notable GDP gains (between 4% and 22%) across all industry sectors in Ireland. However, labour-intensive sectors, such as retail, wholesale trade and accommodation and food services as well as health and other public services are likely to see the largest boosts to GDP, with gains of more than 20%. Transport and logistics, manufacturing and construction as well as financial services and other professional services are likely to see slightly lower but still significant returns in Ireland, between 9 and 12%.
At the other end, capital-intensive industries such as energy and utilities will see a smaller impact. Surprisingly, technology, telecommunications, and media will not experience a substantial impact at only 5.5%.
PwC research predicts that the effect on jobs in the long-term will be at least neutral, if not net positive. Mr Fitzpatrick commented that, “Much of the focus of AI to date has been on the impact that increased automation will have on jobs. While we expect that the nature of jobs will change and that some will be susceptible to automation, our research also shows that AI adoption may result in previously outsourced jobs being brought back to Ireland”.
While some jobs will ultimately become redundant, others will be created by the shifts in productivity and consumer demand emerging from AI, and through the value chain of AI itself. There will be new jobs mostly performed by humans in the building, maintaining, operating and regulating of AI. The extra demand generated in the economy will lead to the creation of jobs not directly related to AI in non-AI intensive industries. All of the above will facilitate a generation of jobs that wouldn’t have existed in a world without AI.
It is also expected that AI will lower the number of jobs being outsourced, as they could be done more efficiently and cheaply in Ireland.