Artificial intelligence could add 11.6% - or €48 billion - to Ireland's GDP by 2030, according to research by PwC.

The firm says increased automation and use of robotics will affect some sectors more than others but predicts that AI will have a neutral or even positive impact on jobs in the country.

The analysis shows the potential for AI to impact the Irish economy will be slightly lower than the global average of 13.8% by 2030 ($15.7 trillion), but slightly higher than in other Northern European (9.9% by 2030 and $1.8 trillion) and Southern European (11.5% by 2030 and $0.7 trillion) economies.

The global average is boosted by regions such as China and Developed Asia where productivity typically lags and there is a lot to be gained from AI in catching up.

PwC Ireland Digital Director Ronan Fitzpatrick said the "potential size of the AI prize on Ireland’s economy is huge, with significant but varied gains across all sectors, having the potential to transform businesses.

"The impact on productivity could be competitively transformational and disruptive. Businesses that fail to apply AI could quickly find themselves being undercut on price and turnaround times, and may lose significant market share as a result."

The research shows the majority of the Irish economic gains over the period to 2030 will be driven by enhancements in consumer products, specifically increased product quality (3.7% by 2030) and more personalisation and greater variety of products (4.1%).

These stimulate consumer spending and importantly, stimulate additional businesses entering the market, leading to higher quantities of production and more affordable goods.

Increased productivity through augmentation of labour and automation of some roles will also drive gains, but to a lesser extent (3.7% by 2030) when compared to total consumption-side enhancements (7.8% by 2030).

The report finds that Ireland has the foundations and potential to successfully adopt AI in the near term, but the right investment in skills and technologies need to be made to translate these strong fundamentals into successful AI adoption.