IMF head says AI could disrupt nearly 40% of global employment before Davos

Johannes P. Christou/Reuters

An IMF meeting participant stands near the IMF logo in Bali, Indonesia in 2018.


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Nearly 40% of jobs worldwide could be affected by the rise of artificial intelligence, a trend that is likely to deepen inequality, according to the International Monetary Fund.

on Sunday Blog postInternational Monetary Fund President Kristalina Georgieva called on governments to create social safety nets and provide retraining programs to counter the impact of artificial intelligence.

“In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a worrying trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent technology from further inflaming social tensions,” she wrote ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was set up to be High on the agenda.

Georgieva noted that as more workers and companies continue to adapt AI, it is expected to both help and hurt the human workforce.

Echoing earlier warnings from other experts, Georgieva said the effects are expected to be felt more deeply in advanced economies than in emerging markets, partly because white-collar workers are considered more vulnerable than manual workers.

In more developed economies, for example, up to 60% of jobs could be affected by AI. Nearly half of those may benefit from how AI can be leveraged to increase productivity, she said.

“For the other half, AI applications may take over key tasks currently performed by humans, which could reduce demand for labor, leading to lower wages and lower employment,” Georgieva wrote, citing an IMF analysis.

“In extreme cases, some of these functions may disappear.”

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In emerging markets and low-income countries, 40% and 26% of jobs are expected to be affected by AI, respectively. Emerging markets refer to places like India and Brazil that have sustained economic growth, while emerging markets refer to low-income countries Refers to Developing economies with per capita income below a certain level, such as Burundi and Sierra Leone.

“Many of these countries do not have the infrastructure or skilled workforce needed to exploit the benefits of AI, which increases the risk that over time the technology will exacerbate inequality,” Georgieva noted.

She warned that the use of artificial intelligence could increase the chances of social unrest, especially if younger, less experienced workers exploit the technology as a way to help boost their production while older workers struggle to keep up.

Artificial intelligence has become a Hot topic At the World Economic Forum in Davos last year where ChatGPT took the world by storm. The chatbot sensation, powered by generative artificial intelligence, has sparked conversations about how it will change the way people work around the world due to its ability to write articles, speeches, poems, and more.

Since then, technology upgrades have expanded the use of chatbots and AI systems, making them more widespread and stimulating massive investment.

Some tech companies already have it He pointed directly at Artificial intelligence as a reason to rethink employment levels.

While workplaces may change, widespread adoption of AI could ultimately increase labor productivity and boost global GDP by 7% annually over 10 years, according to a March 2023 report. appreciation By economists at Goldman Sachs.

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In her blog, Georgieva also pointed out the opportunities to boost production and income around the world using artificial intelligence.

“AI will change the global economy,” she wrote. “Let's make sure it benefits humanity.”

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