A man typing on a laptop at a desk, with an image of a virtual chatbot in front of the laptop screen. Used to represent the concept of Generative AI.
Image: © Prostock-studio/Stock.adobe.com

The generative AI hype is taking hold among Irish workers

23 Nov 2023

A new Deloitte survey suggests more than 300,000 Irish people have used AI in the workplace, though only a small portion use this technology frequently.

Nearly one year since the release of ChatGPT, a new survey suggests generative AI is gaining traction in Irish workplaces.

The survey conducted by Deloitte suggests that more than 60pc of people in Ireland have heard of generative AI, while 33pc have used the technology. This information comes from 1,000 Irish respondents and was part of the Deloitte Global Digital Consumer Trends survey.

More than 10pc of those surveyed said they have used this type of technology for work. Deloitte said this suggests that more than 300,000 people may be using this technology in their workplaces. However, of those who were aware of this technology, 37pc believed their employer would not approve the use of generative AI for work purposes.

Emmanuel Adeleke, a Deloitte partner in AI and data, said transformative changes tend to have a certain “lag-time between innovation and response”, but said it is vital that businesses are open to conversations around this technology.

“Deloitte’s research shows that AI is here to stay in the workplace,” Adeleke said. “It is fair to conclude that employers and employees would benefit from clarity around the acceptable and appropriate use of Generative AI.

“Furthermore, businesses will also have to look at how they engage with their customers, suppliers and regulators on these technologies.”

But while awareness is high, the use of this technology may not be as frequent as first expected, based on the survey findings. More than half of the respondents who have used generative AI tools said they used it “once or twice to try” or less than monthly, while only 6pc said they use this technology daily.

Colm McDonnell, Deloitte risk advisory partner, said the most popular use of generative AI appears to be for “personal purposes”, while 34pc of the respondents said they use this technology for “education”.

“It is clear from these responses that the use of generative AI will only increase with time and greater adoption,” McDonnell said. “It is imperative that we prepare for increased adoption.”

There were also concerns among Irish workers regarding the future impact this technology could have in the jobs market. Among those who were aware of the technology,  62pc believed that generative AI will reduce the number of jobs available in the future, while 46pc were concerned that generative AI will replace some of their roles in the workforce.

A report by Goldman Sachs from earlier this year suggested that generative AI could lead to the replacement of around 300m jobs worldwide. But some experts suggest that this technology will bring new opportunities for workers, but only if they have the skills to work with generative AI.

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Leigh Mc Gowran
By Leigh Mc Gowran

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic since November 2021. He has previously worked as an environmental and breaking news journalist, and a local radio presenter. When he’s not writing articles and stressing about the climate emergency, he enjoys judging the latest film releases and perfecting his renowned cooking skills. He also has a love for video games, coffee and cats.

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