IMF chief says AI could disrupt nearly 40% of global employment ahead of Davos

Johannes B. Christo/Reuters

An International Monetary Fund meeting participant stands next to the IMF logo in Bali, Indonesia in 2018.

Hong Kong

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), nearly 40% of jobs worldwide could be affected by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), which could deepen inequality.

On a Sunday BlogIMF chief Kristalina Georgieva called on governments to establish social safety nets and provide retraining programs to counter the impact of AI.

“In most circumstances, AI will worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers need to address going forward to avoid further fueling social tensions,” he wrote ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. is set as High on the agenda.

As AI continues to be adapted by more workers and businesses, it is expected to both help and hurt the human workforce, Georgieva noted.

Echoing earlier warnings by other experts, Georgieva said the effects are expected to be felt more deeply in advanced economies than in emerging markets, as white-collar workers are more at risk than manual workers.

In the most developed economies, for example, 60% of jobs could be affected by AI. About half of them, he said, could benefit from how AI promotes greater productivity.

“In the other half, AI applications could perform key tasks currently performed by humans, which could reduce labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring,” Georgieva wrote, citing the IMF's analysis.

“In extreme cases, some of these jobs could disappear.”

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

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“Many of these countries lack the infrastructure or skilled workforce to harness the benefits of AI, increasing the risk that the technology will worsen inequality over time,” Georgieva noted.

He warned that the use of AI could increase the chances of social unrest, particularly as younger, less experienced workers use technology to help increase their productivity while more senior workers continue to struggle.

AI is a Hot topic ChatGPT took the world by storm last year at WEF in Davos. Chatbots powered by generative AI have sparked conversations about how people around the world can change the way they work thanks to their ability to write sentient, essays, speeches, poems and more.

Since then, improvements to the technology have expanded the use of AI chatbots and systems, making them mainstream and spurring massive investment.

Some tech companies are already there pointed directly AI is one reason they are rethinking staffing levels.

As of March 2023, while workplaces may change, the widespread adoption of AI will ultimately increase labor productivity and increase global GDP by 7% annually over a 10-year period. Assessment By Goldman Sachs economists.

Georgieva, in her blog post, cited opportunities to increase output and income worldwide through the use of AI.

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

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