IMF Chief Warns: AI Set to Impact Nearly 40% of Global Jobs

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, issued a stark warning, stating that the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to impact almost 60% of jobs in advanced economies and some emerging markets globally. Speaking ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Georgieva emphasized the potential consequences of increased AI usage, highlighting the risk of deepening inequalities and leaving millions unemployed. She stressed the importance of timely action to establish policies that ensure AI’s impact is beneficial rather than detrimental to humanity.

Global Impact: Varied Effects on Job Markets

Georgieva revealed that in advanced economies, approximately 60% of jobs will be affected by AI, while the impact is slightly lower in emerging markets, impacting around 40% of jobs. In low-income countries, the impact is estimated to be 26%. The IMF report outlines that half of the jobs may face negative consequences due to AI, while the other half could benefit from the technology. The report suggests that AI applications might replace human tasks, potentially reducing labor demand, leading to lower wages, and, in extreme cases, job disappearance.

Concerns for Emerging Markets and Digital Divide

The IMF chief expressed concerns that the impact of AI in emerging markets and developing economies might be less beneficial, potentially exacerbating the digital divide and income disparity between countries. The report underscores the need for proactive policies to address the challenges, including the potential disappearance of jobs. Georgieva emphasized the vulnerability of older people to the impact of AI and called for the introduction of new policies, such as social safety nets and retraining programs, to address these concerns.

Urgent Action Required: Embrace AI Opportunities

Georgieva urged the need for swift policy interventions to navigate the challenges posed by AI. Social safety nets and retraining programs are essential to mitigate potential negative consequences. She emphasized the imperative to assist low-income countries in adapting to the opportunities presented by AI. Despite acknowledging the potential challenges, Georgieva sees AI as a tremendous opportunity for everyone and stressed the importance of embracing it. The impact of AI on jobs is expected to be a key focus at the upcoming WEF agenda in Davos.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Al Jazeera

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