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Ireland’s Finance Minister Warns One-Third Of Jobs At Risk From AI

Finance Minister Michael McGrath has warned that up to one-third of jobs in Ireland could be at risk from the rise of artificial intelligence. 

At the inaugural Global Economic Summit in Killarney, Mr. McGrath emphasized the need to mitigate AI's "adverse outcomes" while acknowledging its potential to significantly transform the economy.

Mr. McGrath said: "Whilst AI is still a nascent technology, the potential is there to boost the productive capacity of the economy at a time when structural forces will begin to weigh on economic growth.

"The key objective must be to harness the benefits of these new technologies while avoiding some of the adverse outcomes."

Mr McGrath said his department and the Department of Enterprise are finalizing two papers on AI's impact on the economy and labor market. 

According to McGrath, AI will affect approximately 63 percent of employment in Ireland, with half of these positive impacts enhancing job productivity. 

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However, the other half poses a risk of job displacement due to AI's technological capabilities.

McGrath said: "We must carefully consider the consequences of AI and adopt a human-centered approach.

"We are on the cusp of a digital revolution that will have enormous impacts, both positive and negative, on our collective economies and societies."

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McGrath called for a balanced, cross-governmental approach to AI adoption to eliminate barriers while preventing worker displacement. 

He said: "Achieving the appropriate balance will require a coherent, inter-governmental strategy.”

The Global Economic Summit, attended by hundreds of business and political leaders worldwide, focuses on issues such as climate change, education sustainability, and technology. 

Notable speakers include Anne O’Leary, Meta’s VP of global business EMEA; Gopi Kallayil, Google’s chief business strategist for AI; and Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Accenture.

International contributors such as Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization; Darrin E. Jones, Executive Director of Partnerships and Planning at Interpol; and Angela Wilkinson, CEO of the World Energy Council, are also participating in the event.

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