As the founder of AI Ireland and the AI Awards, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing first-hand how technology serves as an enabler for problem-solving across various business sectors and societal issues.
Far from the job-taking or sci-fi doom Terminator, it’s often portrayed as AI is a technology capable of human-like thinking and decision-making. It learns from data and evolves, thereby aiding in the resolution of intricate challenges and the automation of tasks. In November 2022, Generative AI like ChatGPT captured headlines, opening new possibilities for internet users’ everyday activities.
When it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Dublin, AI is making progress by altering the employment landscape for the better. Contrary to popular belief, AI is not the core reason for job losses, but the picture is more nuanced, as in many cases, AI is a job creator. For example, AI assists employees with mundane tasks, freeing up their time to engage in more creative and complex roles, which in turn leads to the creation of new job titles. Furthermore, the rise of AI in data analytics necessitates the hiring of data analysts capable of extracting actionable business insights. Finally, integrating AI in customer relations requires specialists to manage and supervise these technologies.
Ways in which AI is changing the business landscape
Creation of New Roles: Initiatives like CeADAR, Ireland’s National Centre for AI, contribute to job creation. After being named the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) for AI in Ireland, CeADAR announced nine new job openings in 2023.
Expansion of Existing Companies: Firms that are already harnessing the power of AI are broadening their horizons, thereby creating even more employment opportunities. OpenAI, for example, has opened a new Dublin office with additional new roles.
Attracting International Companies: Dublin’s AI-friendly environment is a magnet for international enterprises. HR tech company Personio is a case in point, having built a team and established its Dublin office.
Upskilling and Reskilling: The adoption of AI tech requires a workforce fluent in these new tools, paving the way for upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
Stimulating Innovation: AI’s role as an enabler of innovation can’t be overstated. It serves as the foundation for new products, services, and business models, culminating in the formation of new enterprises.
It’s challenging to choose the most promising Dublin-based AI startups to highlight, as there’s a wealth of options to choose from. These include Akara Robotics, based in Dublin 8, which focuses on healthcare automation; Empathic, based in Dublin 4, a 2022 AI award-winning application aiding people with communication challenges; and Cilter, based on Grafton Street in Dublin 2, which has developed embedded software to shield children from cyberbullying and online grooming by blocking harmful content and alerting parents.
How is Dublin doing?
Dublin, despite a slight dip in its ranking to 11th in Europe and 51st globally, according to the latest Startup Blink report, continues to be a hub for AI startups. Regarding EU-specific rankings, Dublin holds its own at the ninth position. Investment-wise, Dublin is only surpassed by London, Amsterdam, and Paris, making it a highly attractive destination for both startups and investors.
In summary, while Dublin may trail behind some European cities like Helsinki and Madrid in the overall startup ecosystem rankings, its potent AI ecosystem and investor-friendly environment make it a leading player in the European AI landscape.
By compiling all these perspectives, it’s clear that Dublin is more than holding its own in the highly competitive, fast-evolving world of AI, thereby solidifying its status as a global tech hub with much promise for the future.
The 2023 AI Awards took place on 21 November at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin 1.