herald

Saturday 19 October 2019

Nearly 50pc risk of robot taking your job in next 10 years

Business Minister Heather Humphreys
Business Minister Heather Humphreys

Workers have been warned they face an almost 50pc chance of their jobs being automated in little more than a decade.

The news came as the Government announced the projects that have won a share in €75m of grants under the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF).

The fund is a "key element" of the Government's Future Jobs initiative.

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Business Minister Heather Humphreys praised the 27 projects that have secured the first tranche of funding.

She said they have devised "ground-breaking solutions that will help us to future-proof our economy".

She said the DTIF is about "ensuring that Ireland can stay ahead of the game to secure the jobs of the future".

Ms Humphreys added that disruptive technologies will significantly change the way people work and live, and they need to be embraced.

She highlighted a recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study which estimated that Irish workers face a 46pc probability of their jobs being automated by the 2030s.

"We cannot afford to stand still," the minister warned, adding that Ireland has "amazing companies doing amazing things in technology, both indigenous and multinational.

"We also have world-class researchers so there is a lot we can achieve by working together," she said.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined Ms Humphreys at the announcement at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin.

The cash allocated is part of €500m awarded over 10 years under the Government's Project Ireland 2040 plan.

Mr Varadkar insisted Ireland must adapt to a future of greater digitalisation and automation.

"Today's schoolchildren will be employed in jobs and industries that don't exist yet," he said. "Technology will eliminate or transform existing occupations."

He said Future Jobs aims "to meet these challenges".

Those gathered at the launch were briefed on projects that have been granted funding.

One of them, which is led by the RCSI, is designed to improve colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The college's partners in the project are a company called Deciphex, IBM Research and University College Dublin.

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