AI Irish Government
Robot assembling hardware. Image: RTimages/Shutterstock

Government predicts 9pc of jobs under threat from AI

1 Nov 2016

The Irish Government has released a report into what it sees as looming threats to the State, including the belief that one in 10 jobs are at risk of computer automation.

Rather than fearing a ‘rise of the robots’ situation, a number of different sectors across the globe – particularly in finance and manufacturing – are fearing a time when AI and machine learning will render human jobs obsolete.

The Irish Government now fears not that politicians will soon be replaced by AI that can determine what is right or wrong, but that unemployment could rise from automation.

Future Human

This appeared to be the case following the release of the Government’s 2016 National Risk Assessment report, which looks at multiple different potential threats to the Government and how likely they are in coming home to roost.

While financial fears over Brexit will no doubt keep the Department of Finance occupied for the next few years, AI and automation were specifically highlighted as a genuine worry.

Sectors most at risk

The risk, the report said, is that people may be displaced from their current employment and suddenly find that they are unable to find work elsewhere for the same reason.

The Government particularly highlights those working in transport, logistics, and office/admin support as being the jobs most at risk of automation.

It also casts doubts on the long-term job prospects of those working in the services and sales industry, citing these as “highly susceptible” to being automated.

Using data obtained by the OECD on job automation, the Government’s report said that 9pc of jobs are at risk.

It does however suggest that retraining is the likeliest scenario, rather than the possibility that those employees will be left in limbo for the rest of their working lives.

Another threat deemed worthy of note by the Government was the possibility of antimicrobial resistance in humans, saying that antibiotics are now “seriously jeopardised” in terms of effectiveness.

It also warns that if cases of resistance continue to rise, “it will become increasingly difficult and expensive to control”.

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Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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