Professor Barry O'Sullivan

Insight Industry: Prof Barry O’Sullivan and the report on future skills needs for the use of AI in Ireland

Submitted on Friday, 08/07/2022

Insight’s involvement in industry also involves future planning. The Expert Group for Future Skills Needs report “AI Skills: A Preliminary Assessment of the Skills Needed for the Deployment, Management and Regulation of Artificial Intelligence” was launched recently and Insight’s Professor Barry O’Sullivan chaired the committee that was tasked with producing it.

The report highlighted the need for everyone, regardless of whether they work in tech or not, will need some level of knowledge and understanding of AI. It also finds that AI is not likely to bring about a net loss of jobs, but it will replace certain tasks within many jobs over time. It points out the need for both organisations and individuals to identify where AI will impact their job or their sector and prepare by seeking out the necessary education and training.

Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD said that the report, “…highlights the huge potential that AI presents and forecasts the future skills needs to seize these opportunities. But if we are to see the benefits we must be prepared. Government is already working with our counterparts in Europe to develop an effective regulatory framework that will ensure the ethical use of AI, championing a person- centred, trustworthy approach to AI in its deployment and application. Further action is needed now across all realms of society to ensure we have the know-how to use AI effectively and fairly to the benefit and good of us all.”

​​​​​​​Professor Barry O’Sullivan said, “This report is the result of considerable effort by an extremely committed group over more than a year. It was my pleasure to chair the committee, to work closely with Don O’Connor at DETE, and all those who supported and contributed to the effort. The report is, I believe, the first of its kind in Europe and we hope that it has signifiant impact in the important area of education and skills development to prepare people to maximise the benefits of AI while understanding and mitigating the risks.”

You can read a summary of findings and access the report here.