Artificial intelligence provides us with an opportunity to unlock our intelligent minds from the mundane and focus on both the urgent and the future, writes Owen Lewis, Partner in Management Consulting at KPMG.

SwissCognitive“Ireland stands out in the field of AI on a number of fronts, including the innovative ecosystem that has developed over the past few years that supports and fosters disruptive thinking, the access we have to global tech giants, the breadth and depth of talent that exists in our workplace and the spirit of entrepreneurialism,” says Lewis. “Coupling this with some global heavyweights in AI, both in academic and professional circles, then I can only see growth in this capability.”

Artificial intelligence has had a much more significant role in day-to-day life in recent years. The ability of a computer to observe and learn from patterns has been the driving force behind new technology – from alarms that can monitor our sleep cycles and tell us the best time to wake up, to the GPS systems that can redirect us on alternative routes in rush hour, the everyday uses of AI are increasing. But the real potential for AI lies in how it is used behind the scenes, analysing big data, and that is also the area where Ireland has the ability to lead.

The real challenge, according to Lewis, is retaining talent: “Our challenge remains how we retain talent when such amazing opportunities exist for home-grown talent to be snapped up abroad. This is where Government policies need to continue to support local innovation and investment, and our success on the global stage for home-grown start-ups needs to be supported. Ireland is clearly capable to achieve this and requires us all to keep our eyes on the future as we consider priorities in Government investments, education and regulatory agility.”

Ireland may not be leading the way in the consumer branch of AI, but it has a rich history in advanced research and development of AI through universities and research institutes, which are often collaborations between academic institutions and the many large multinational tech companies that are based here.[…]

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