Posted: 11/03/19

A new approach to tackling the future needs of businesses and workers was published by the Irish Government yesterday.  Future Jobs Ireland 2019: Preparing Now for Tomorrow’s Economy aims to prepare people and companies for technological change.   Launched by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, the Future Jobs programme highlights ‘Innovation and Technological Change’ as a key pillar. 

At the event, the ADAPT Centre an demonstrated an automatic Machine Translation intelligent system developed within ADAPT.  In a globalised economy, companies need to provide real-time, robust multilingual services. ADAPT’s robot can act as an agent for machine translation of dialogue in settings such as a customer service environment.  Automating translation reduces the cost of human translation services, provides real-time services and facilitates communication across languages.  This allows customers chat with agents for online shopping, hotel bookings, financial advice etc.  In a healthcare setting it can guarantee an exact communication and diagnosis between patients and doctors. 

Along with the development of national digital and AI policies, the plan aims to exploit new technologies that can improve productivity.  To do this, the policy will experiment with the establishment of what it calls "Top Teams" - groups of experts from the private and public sector. The three initial "Teams" will concentrate on Renewable Energy, Artificial Intelligence and GovTech (marketable technology solutions for delivering Government services).

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “The world of work is changing. Advancing technology means society is always ‘on’. Connectivity and greater accessibility is changing the way people work. This comes with negatives and positives. We must take the opportunity to exploit the positives that technology can bring for our country and take on the negatives.” 

She continued: “The ADAPT Centre is one of SFI’s leading research centres and it supplied us with today’s speaking robot for our launch.  Its researchers are applying cutting-edge AI technology to business problems to help transform the modern workplace and empower individuals and society to engage in digital experiences with control, inclusion and accountability.  It means the innovation and disruption created by AI adoption doesn’t have to be something to be feared – it can be to all our benefit.”

Also speaking about the ADAPT Centre at the event, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD said: “It is our ambition to make Ireland the tech capital of Europe.  We see success in the work being done by Government-funded research centres such as ADAPT, which provided us with today’s talking robot, transforming the world of digital content.”

ADAPT’s research is spearheading the development of next-generation digital technologies that enable tech-mediated interaction and communication.  Many areas of ADAPT’s research expertise align with the ambitions of Future Jobs Ireland 2019.

Future Jobs Ireland 2019 is the first in a series of annual reports, which outlines the Government’s longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy, under five key pillars:

  • Embracing Innovation and Technological Change
  • Improving SME Productivity
  • Enhancing Skills & Developing and Attracting Talent
  • Increasing Participation in the Workforce
  • Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, speaking at the launch: YouTube: https://youtu.be/O-de6uX4bYk

Minister Heather Humphreys speaking at the launch: YouTube: https://youtu.be/ml5K0QrhBN0

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