MHC: Most Irish tech companies would use likes of ChatGPT

MHC: Most Irish tech companies would use likes of ChatGPT

Melanie Crowley

Almost three-quarters of Irish tech companies would use generative AI like ChatGPT in their business, according to a survey by business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran.

The survey also found that sales and marketing is the business function most likely to be affected by AI in the future (31 per cent), followed by legal services (20 per cent) and pharma and life sciences (16 per cent).

The survey was carried out at MHC’s Technology Conference, Talent, Funding and the Future, which attracted more than 300 industry professionals to The Marker Hotel in Dublin this week.

Keynote speaker Kenneth Cukier commented: “AI is transformational, with blessings and horrors. But humans are smarter. We can imagine new realities, while AI depends on past data. To flourish in the AI age, we need to get better at being human.”

When asked, 76 per cent of technology companies said they expect retaining talent (44 per cent) and recruiting (32 per cent) to be their biggest HR issues in the coming 12 months. Just 11 per cent expect redundancies to be the biggest HR issue they will face, with 13 per cent identifying remote working as their greatest people challenge.

Melanie Crowley, head of employment law and benefits at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “It is heartening to see that retention of talent still tops the agenda for Ireland’s technology sector.

“We are in an unusual environment where rationalisation is taking place at the same time as recruitment in the sector but, as we heard from the panel I chaired today on human capital, the overall outlook for employment in the sector remains positive.”

The survey also found that the vast majority of companies (78 per cent) think that the terms demanded by investors are too “investor friendly”, while one in three (33 per cent) said that the funders and investors of their business were not aligned on the funding and investment strategy.

Anne Harkin, corporate partner, said: “What’s clear from today’s discussion is that there continues to be a good range of funding options available for tech companies in Ireland – there is plenty of capital available and waiting to be deployed, but for the right businesses.

“For investors, pragmatic growth plans for earlier stage companies and basic unit economies for later stage companies are both key. For companies and founders, finding investors who bring more to the table than money, and can be a real value-add in terms of expertise, is crucial.”

Oisín Tobin, partner and head of technology, added: “Our technology lawyers advise some of the world’s leading companies and, in a time of change and challenge, this event provides a forum for industry leaders to come together to reflect and focus on the future of the sector.

“We explored the key issues we are encountering with our clients, from managing talent to fundraising and investment and the potential and pitfalls of AI.”

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