Esk West, Ireland — photo by @plasticmind

National AI Strategy for Ireland in Early 2020

What is the Current Status of the Development of Irish Artificial Intelligence?

There is currently no national strategy in Ireland as of the 28th of January 2020. However it is outlined that the government strategy, which will provide a high-level direction to the design, development and adoption of AI in Ireland is anticipated to be launched in early 2020.

The public consultation commenced in October and ran for a period of 3 weeks, concluding on 7th November 2019. The consultation is still available here: Public Consultation on the Development of a National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence and submissions were invited from all interested parties. The comments from the different parties are seemingly not available online.

Apparently the the development of a National AI Strategy is to be an important milestone contained within Future Jobs Ireland according to an article published by Irish Tech News on the 16th of October 2019.

In 2017 the Irish Economic Development Agency (IDA) and Enterprise Ireland created an infographic highlighting Ireland’s strengths in AI and characterising Ireland’s strategy as the “AI Island”. Therefore we can speculate whether this terminology of the AI Island will feature in the coming strategy or not. Back in 2017 the country’s AI ecosystems was audited, and a collaborative workshop was organised. Ireland has also launched a national AI Masters program in 2018 that is 100% industry-driven. The Masters in AI in the University of Limerick was established with the support of the IDA and Skillnet Ireland.

On the 5th of December an article was featured in the Irish Times (in a content studio section, likely an industry collaboration) called: “AI won’t develop itself, you know: why we need a national AI strategy.” In the article it was claimed that the strategy was likely to be more about investment than legislation: “The Government won’t necessarily have a regulatory or legislative role; that will come from the EU. Its role will be more on the investment side.”

Still in the Tortoise AI index Ireland scored high in talent, infrastructure and development.

It must be said that Ireland continues to attract a huge amount of foreign direct investment (FDI), in fact, Ireland is the second most attractive country globally for FDI — after Singapore. Some of the largest ICT companies have offices in Ireland.

Thus the Irish strategy may be an important one depending on what it says, as Ireland at least for some companies (on the record) is the bridge to Europe.

We will see if AI meshes with the luck of the Irish in their new strategy.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 238. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence.



AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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