Ireland must close AI gap or risk losing over €30bn to European rivals - Barry Cowen

Published on: 29 May 2024

Barry Cowen TD, the Fianna Fáil European Election candidate for the Midlands North West, has warned Ireland risks losing out on over €30 billion if it doesn’t quickly close the gap in AI.
A new report commissioned by Google Ireland has stated generative artificial intelligence could provide a €40-45 billion boost in the size of the Irish economy over the next decade. However, Ireland is lagging behind several European countries in its adoption of A1. 
The report claims 8% of Irish businesses had adopted at least one form of AI by last year, and the study warns a five-year delay would see the potential boost to Ireland’s GDP shrink to only 2% or €8-10 billion, and Deputy Cowen insists we need to act now.
Speaking today, he said: “Ireland has unique and extensive potential to boost our economy with generative artificial intelligence due to the many multinational tech giants operating on our shores.
“We’re is lagging behind in too many areas where we could set the global standard on innovation, and we need to change that immediately. We can realise our vast potential and drive Europe forward in tech, medical devices and energy security, but we’re letting ourselves down in too many areas, and must resolve issues surrounding data centres and power generation among others.
“This new report shows artificial intelligence is another industry where Ireland could become world leaders, and two thirds of jobs - equivalent to 1.7 million roles - will potentially be assisted by generative AI.
“This could generate €40-45 billion for the Irish economy over the next 10 years, but we’re already off the pace with the adoption of AI by businesses in Denmark, Finland and Belgium, and those returns will depreciate the slowing we are to take action.
“We need to encourage and reward businesses for helping to pull Ireland forward. If I am elected to Europe on June 7th, I will champion this kind of innovation and lead the charge for Ireland.”