The AI skills report said that AI is ‘likely to complement rather than replace human beings in many cases.’ It recommends that a free course be made available for all citizens.
A newly published report on AI skills claims that all Irish people need some knowledge of AI in their careers, regardless of whether they work in tech or not.
The report was published today (23 June) by an expert group on Ireland’s future skills needs. The group’s report was informed by the national AI strategy document, which was published last July.
The strategy recommended a people-centred, ethical approach to AI. The AI skills report from today highlights the need for all Irish workers to have some level of understanding of how AI can benefit their job.
“AI skills are not just for AI experts. Everyone will need some knowledge of AI and its implications, ”according to the Minister for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins TD.
“While AI developers and researchers will need expert-level skills, it is also the case that anyone working in an organization that deploys AI systems will need to understand enough about AI and its implications to work effectively with those systems or alongside AI experts.”
The report has said that net job losses are not expected as a result of AI adoption. However, many jobs will change as certain tasks are taken over by the tech. It also said that AI has the potential to bring substantial productivity increases, but only if the general workforce has the skills to fully benefit.
It said that AI can contribute to the automation of tasks but is “likely to complement rather than replace human beings in many cases.”
“While many sectors and job roles will be exposed to AI, this does not mean that these jobs will be lost, rather that jobs will change: some tasks will be automated, and humans will focus more on the things that AI cannot do quite as well. ”
A cultural shift on who needs AI and who doesn’t is needed to ensure that every worker appreciates the tech. Lifelong learning and education are to be the core tenets of how this understanding is communicated. Organizations in the public and private sector should identify where they can use AI and train their staff accordingly.
The report recommends that teachers should have some digital literacy training for both primary and post-primary levels. The curricula in schools should also be reviewed to ensure that AI is covered, particularly in STEM subjects. The use of AI should also be explored in teaching, learning and assessment.
It also recommends that the Government support the development of new apprenticeships in AI and make AI-related micro-credentials available to both learners and workers.
Finally, the publishers of the report recommend providing a free online AI course for citizens. The promotion of the course should be linked with digital literacy courses provided by the higher education sectors, such as Solas. The targeting of international AI talent should also be pursued.
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