The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a stark warning: nearly 40 per cent of global employment could be disrupted by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). This emerging trend has the potential to exacerbate inequality, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva stated in a recent blog post.
Ahead of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Georgieva emphasized the need for governments to establish social safety nets and offer retraining programs. This response aims to mitigate AI’s impact on the workforce and prevent further social tensions.
While AI is expected to enhance productivity in certain sectors, it also poses a threat to jobs, especially in advanced economies. Georgieva notes that in these regions, up to 60 per cent of jobs could be impacted, with half potentially benefiting from AI’s productivity boost and the other half at risk due to AI performing key human tasks.
In emerging markets and low-income nations, 40 per cent and 26 per cent of jobs are expected to be affected, respectively. The lack of infrastructure and skilled workforces in these areas heightens the risk of worsening inequality due to AI.
The use of AI could lead to social unrest, particularly if younger, less experienced workers leverage the technology to enhance their output while senior workers struggle to adapt.
Despite the risks, AI adoption could increase labour productivity and boost global GDP by seven per cent annually over a decade, as estimated by Goldman Sachs economists. Georgieva sees AI as a transformative force for the global economy, but stresses the need to ensure it benefits humanity.
Sources include: CNN