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Progress Report on National AI Strategy Published

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary published the progress report on the implementation of the National AI Strategy: AI – Here for Good.

A number of key achievements have been delivered so far including:

  • Appointing Ireland’s AI Ambassador, Dr Patricia Scanlon, and the completion of her first year in the role.
  • Establishing an Enterprise Digital Advisory Forum, focussing on industry adoption of AI and other digital technologies.
  • Establishing an AI Innovation Hub (CeADAR) to provide services such as specialist training and project feasibility work in particular to SMEs.
  • Completing the Expert Group on Future Skills report on AI Skills.
  • Delivering the National Youth Assembly on AI in October 2022.
  • Joining the Global Partnership on AI, a multi-stakeholder initiative originating in the OECD.
  • Publication of the NSAI’s AI Standards and Assurance Roadmap.

The Minister said, “as consumer AI tools have become widely available, more and more of us are aware that AI is here for good. It is already transforming many aspects of the ways we work and live, and it will continue to do so.”

“Ireland was a front runner in publishing our National AI Strategy two years ago, and we have made excellent progress so far in putting the building blocks in place to get the coming transformation right, including seeking the views and participation of young people from across Ireland on AI policy and I am pleased to see their inputs published. Looking ahead, I want to ensure we maintain our strong position and are ready for new challenges and opportunities as they emerge.”

The Minister is now seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals from academia, business, law, security, social sciences, economics, and civil society to serve on an AI Advisory Council. The Council will provide independent expert advice to government on artificial intelligence policy, with a specific focus on building public trust and promoting the development of trustworthy, person-centred AI.

He said, “in order to better understand the risks and identify the opportunities of this technology, I am establishing an AI Advisory Council to support government in our work to build a more digitally, integrated, inclusive and competitive society and economy. I will continue to work with my colleagues across government, to ensure we have the policies, skills, infrastructure, and laws in Ireland to harness the great potential of these technological tools to deliver for the good of all.”

The progress report on the implementation of the National AI Strategy “AI – Here for Good” identifies a number of specific priorities for the coming year. These include:

  • Influencing the regulation of AI in Ireland and internationally, in particular, the development of the EU AI Act.
  • Supporting businesses, enterprise, and workers on AI adoption as well as upskilling, reskilling and adapting, including through the AI Innovation Hub.
  • Finalising and implementing the principles and guidelines for the use of AI in the public sector.
  • Considering what additional supports may be needed for the AI sector and businesses adopting AI in Ireland.

Minister Calleary concluded, “as a small, open economy, international developments in this space are important. Ireland’s approach to AI, one that is human-centred, ethical, and trust-based, underpins our engagement in national and international fora, particularly as development of the EU AI Act enters the next phase. We are actively promoting a robust governance framework to safeguard against risk and ensure public trust in AI. My core priority is making sure that AI is fostered and deployed in a way that is safe, trustworthy and builds the confidence for innovation to flourish.”

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