IMF Warns of AI’s Impact on Global Job Market: 40% Positions at Risk

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a serious warning about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the global labor market. In a recent report, the IMF predicted that nearly 40% of jobs worldwide could be affected by AIwith this figure rising to 60% in developed economies such as the UK​​​​​​

Reshaping the nature of work

Historically, automation and information technology have mainly affected routine tasks. However, AI’s potential extends to higher-skilled jobs, bringing both risks and opportunities. While about half of jobs in developed economies could benefit from the integration of AI, boosting productivity, the other half face the threat of AI applications taking over tasks currently performed by humans. This can lead to lower labor demand, reduced wages and, in extreme cases, job losses.

The challenge of inequality

One of the main concerns is widening income and wealth inequality. AI can lead to polarization within incomes. Workers adept at using AI may see increases in productivity and wages, while others may lag behind. Younger workers may adapt more easily to the opportunities AI provides, but older workers may struggle with the transition.

Global differences

The impact of AI is expected to be weaker in emerging markets and low-income countries, with 40% and 26% of jobs expected to be affected, respectively. However, these regions may lack the infrastructure or skilled workforce to fully reap the benefits of AI. This raises the risk that AI will worsen inequality between nations over time.

Political responses and preparedness

To address these challenges, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva emphasizes the need for comprehensive social safety nets and retraining programs for workers vulnerable to AI-induced job displacement. The IMF has developed an AI Readiness Index to help countries assess their readiness in areas such as digital infrastructure, human capital, labor market policies and regulation. Richer economies tend to be better prepared to adopt AI, but there are significant differences across countries.

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The immediate impact

As early as 2024, the effects of AI on employment become visible. Companies like Google and Paytm have reported layoffs, attributing some of these changes to the inclusion of AI tools. This underscores the urgent need for proactive global strategies to navigate the transformative impact AI is having on the workforce.

Conclusion

As the AI ​​era unfolds, it is critical that nations establish policies that not only harness the benefits of AI, but also mitigate its potentially disruptive effects on the labor market. The IMF’s warning and recommendations highlight the need for a balanced approach to ensure that the integration of AI into the global economy benefits humanity as a whole.

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