AI now used in almost half of organisations in Ireland

When it comes to embracing the technology, indigenous Irish organisations are falling behind, study finds

Almost half of organisations in Ireland are using generative artificial intelligence in some form, a new survey has found, but indigenous Irish organisations are lagging behind multinationals in its adoption.

The report also found 47 per cent believe the new technology will help enhance productivity, versus 17 per cent who believe it will do the opposite. Multinationals said they used 30 per cent more generative AI than indigenous organisations.

The findings were published in the Generative AI in Ireland 2024 report by Microsoft Ireland and Trinity College Dublin’s Business School.

Among the sectors with the highest adoption rates are technology, science and media, with agriculture, transport, and utilities further behind.


Businesses have been reluctant to adopt the new tools though, a situation that was reflected in the findings. Just over a quarter of business leaders have used publicly available or free generative AI tools, and 25 per cent believe their employees are doing the same.

Some 8 per cent said their employees use free generative AI software, despite 23 per cent having an organisation policy that prohibits its use.

However, 71 per cent of companies with a generative AI-first policy across their company said there were benefits such as productivity increases. Some 42 per cent of senior managers said they would like to have the option of using enterprise-grade AI solutions rather than publicly available tools.

The study surveyed 400 senior managers across both the public and private sectors in Ireland.

“AI is a defining technology of our time, comparable to the advent of the light bulb or the printing press, and will transform and augment how we work, create and collaborate,” said Anne Sheehan, general manager at Microsoft Ireland.

“While the research indicates that indigenous organisations might be falling behind, this is only the start, there’s still time to be early adopters and harness the innovative potential of AI. Irish organisations also have a unique opportunity to tap into our status as a multinational hub and become leaders in generative AI to deliver local economic growth. At Microsoft Ireland, we’re dedicated to enabling individuals and organisations across Ireland with the technology and skills needed to thrive in the AI era.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist