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IMF Issues Warning on AI’s Impact on Global Jobs

AI | Jan 16, 2024

IMF AIs impmact on Jobs - IMF Issues Warning on AI's Impact on Global Jobs

Source: IMF

IMF:  40% of Global Employment Could be Disrupted by AI Likely Deepening Inequlity.  A Wake-up Call to Governments to Take Action

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised significant concerns about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on global employment. According to a recent IMF report analysis, nearly 40% of jobs worldwide could be disrupted by AI. This trend, as IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva notes, is likely to deepen inequality and requires immediate attention from governments worldwide.

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Key Quotes from the IMF Chief, Kristalina Georgieva:

  • "In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality."

  • "For the other half [of jobs in developed economies], AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labour demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring."

  • "In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear."

  • "Many of these countries [emerging markets and lower-income nations] don't have the infrastructure or skilled workforces to harness the benefits of AI, raising the risk that over time the technology could worsen inequality."

  • "AI will transform the global economy. Let's make sure it benefits humanity."

Global Perspective and the Need for Proactive Measures

The IMF's analysis indicates that the effects of AI on employment will be more pronounced in advanced economies, with up to 60% of jobs potentially impacted. This is particularly concerning for white-collar jobs, which are seen as more vulnerable to AI disruption than manual labor. In contrast, emerging markets and lower-income nations might face different challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and skilled workforce to leverage AI effectively.

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While AI poses significant challenges, it also offers opportunities for enhancing productivity and economic growth. Georgieva acknowledges that AI could boost global GDP by 7% annually over a decade, as estimated by Goldman Sachs economists. This dual nature of AI – as both a disruptor and an enabler – underscores the need for balanced and thoughtful policy responses.

Report Recommends that governments establish a safety net, retrain, and address inequalities

  1. Governments are urged to create robust social safety nets to support those affected by AI-driven job disruptions.
  2. Invest in retraining programs is crucial to help the workforce adapt to the evolving job market.
  3. Proactive measures are needed to prevent AI from exacerbating social and economic inequalities.

Outlook

While we've all heard about AI and job disruption or personally know someone impacted for a while now, we can all expect this trend to scale.  The IMF's report is a wake-up call across the board.

Read the full 42 page PDF report --> here


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