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AI to Hit Almost 40% of Jobs Worldwide, Warns IMF

IMF warns AI to hit almost 40% of jobs worldwide
In a recent assessment, the IMF warned that AI could hit almost 40% of jobs worldwide. Credit: World Bank Photo Collection / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A recent warning from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs worldwide. The IMF, based in Washington, D.C., stated that almost 40% of jobs globally could be influenced by AI.

Moreover, high-income countries are at a higher risk compared to emerging markets and low-income nations.

The IMF’s assessment on Sunday revealed that, in many instances, AI might make overall inequality worse in the job market.

Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has called upon policymakers to address this concerning development. She urges them to take proactive measures to prevent technology, particularly artificial intelligence, from escalating social tensions.

“We are on the brink of a technological revolution that could jumpstart productivity, boost global growth and raise incomes around the world. Yet it could also replace jobs and deepen inequality,” Georgieva said.

AI could impact 60% of jobs in high-income countries

The IMF highlighted that in high-income countries, approximately 60% of jobs could be influenced by AI. Moreover, around half of these jobs might experience positive effects as AI is integrated to enhance productivity.

In comparison, emerging markets could see a 40% impact from AI, while low-income countries may experience a 26% influence. This indicates that, in the short term, emerging markets and low-income countries may face fewer disruptions from AI.

However, the IMF warns that these nations lack the necessary infrastructure and skilled workforce to capitalize on the benefits of AI immediately, posing a risk of increased inequality with the potential negative consequences of technology.

AI could cause income and wealth inequality within countries

The IMF also raised concerns about the potential impact of AI on income and wealth inequality within countries.

It warned of a possible “polarization within income brackets,” indicating that those who can harness the advantages of AI might see increased productivity and higher salaries, while those unable to do so could face the risk of falling further behind.

Goldman Sachs had earlier cautioned that generative AI might affect up to 300 million jobs globally.

However, the Wall Street Bank also acknowledged the positive side, stating that the technology could enhance labor productivity, contribute to economic growth, and potentially boost gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 7%.

The release of the IMF report coincides with the assembly of business and political figures from across the globe at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. The annual WEF gathering, themed “Rebuilding Trust,” is scheduled to run until Friday.

WEF reflects a “back to basics” ethos, emphasizing open and constructive dialogue among policymakers, business leaders, and civil society.

The potential impacts, both positive and negative, of artificial intelligence are anticipated to be a focal point of discussion during the event, as reported by CNBC.

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