AI Training Module for Irish SMEs Launched by Google

31st May 2024

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Widespread adoption of generative AI has the potential to boost Ireland’s GDP by up to €45 billion (8%) in ten years, according to a report conducted by Implement Consulting Group and commissioned by Google. The increase is predominantly driven by a productivity boost to two-thirds of Ireland’s workers.

The report is part of a comprehensive study carried out between November 2023 and March 2024 that unveils the transformative economic potential of generative AI in the EU. Several countries, including Ireland, were analysed across the following areas:

•The economic impact of AI

•The impact of AI on jobs

•Key sectors benefiting from AI adoption

•AI readiness

•AI and societal challenges

Economic Impact

The 8% increase in GDP is largely attributed to a productivity boost to the majority of workers (66%) by augmenting their capabilities and enhancing efficiencies.

The calculation takes into account the impact of re-employment of a small share of workers. At its peak, the productivity effect of generative AI in Ireland is estimated to be equivalent to 1.4% of GDP annually. A five-year delay in capturing the benefits of generative AI is estimated to reduce the GDP growth potential from 8% (€40-45 billion) to only 2% (€8-10 billion).

Peter Burke T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said: “AI offers the potential to deliver a step change in productivity and growth in business, including for our SMEs. Our goal is for Ireland to be a leader in adoption of human-centric, trustworthy AI, as set out in our National AI Strategy, ‘AI – Here for Good’.

AI technology is clearly an enormous opportunity, and we must act now to seize the opportunity in order to harness AI technology for the good of both our economy and society. I welcome the publication of this research and Google’s engagement to support Ireland’s small businesses.”

Job Implications

Most jobs in Ireland (66%) are expected to be assisted by generative AI – automating a limited share of tasks and helping to create content including text, code and images, and collaborating with workers on complex problems.

Unlike previous waves of automation that mainly impacted manual workers, generative AI is expected to primarily affect office-based professionals.

An estimated 28% of jobs in Ireland are likely to remain largely unaffected by generative AI. These jobs include manual labour, outdoor tasks, such as construction and cleaning, and human-to-human tasks, such as personal care and food services. A small share of jobs (6%) are expected to have over half of their activities exposed to automation by generative AI.

Key Sectors Benefiting from AI Adoption

The complementary role of generative AI means it can boost productivity across all sectors.

Due to the vast size of Ireland’s manufacturing sector (45% of Irish GVA), this is the area that holds the largest economic potential, where generative AI is estimated to boost annual productivity growth by 1.2% at peak, representing an increase of €15-16 billion.

In contrast to past automation, such as robots, generative AI has the ability to boost productivity in the service sector, and many other countries are expected to see the greatest economic gains there.

AI Readiness

When it comes to AI adoption in Irish enterprises, Ireland is on par with the EU average level of adoption at 8%, but lags behind Northern European frontrunners such as Denmark (15%), Finland (15%), and Belgium (14%). In terms of research and development, Ireland cannot compete with large economies, such as the United States, and will therefore be dependent on EU-wide initiatives.

Current gaps suggest that Ireland needs to focus on strengthening AI-related innovation drivers, such as the build-up of AI-related talent and research.

Google has announced a new AI education training pillar for SMEs in Ireland.

‘Get ahead with AI’ is a module offered as part of You’re the Business, Google’s digital upskilling programme delivered in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.

The resource, available free of charge, provides on-demand training, educational resources, and tools to help SMEs use AI effectively for their businesses. More information is available at

Societal Challenges

Generative AI can help us address societal challenges like climate change enabling Ireland to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Agricultural emissions can be reduced by AI, where machine learning algorithms allow precision farming practices that are more eco-friendly. It can optimise critical resources in the healthcare sector leading to enhanced patient care. AI can also contribute to a more equitable society –

early studies suggest that generative AI can help close the skills gap for those with the lowest skill levels.

Vanessa Hartley, Head of Google Ireland said: “For the past twenty years, Ireland has been at the forefront of the digital age, embracing new technology and leading innovation in Europe.

Today we are at an inflection point and we have an immense opportunity to ensure Ireland remains at the heart of this next transition to AI.

“It is not too late to be early with AI. At Google, we’re approaching this work boldly and responsibly and we are committed to ensuring that Ireland remains a digital frontrunner. Which is why today we are launching a new AI education pillar on You’re The Business to help SMEs use AI effectively for their businesses. “

Martin H. Thelle, Partner at Implement Consulting Group: “Ireland should seek to leverage the national presence of multinational tech giants by incentivising partnerships and mentorship programmes between these corporations and SMEs.

This can facilitate knowledge transfer, provide access to advanced AI tools and resources as well as encourage the development of AI-based business models in the start-up ecosystem.”

Information on You’re the Business is available at