A recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicates that artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to impact almost 40% of the global workforce. According to Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, the integration of AI is expected to exacerbate overall inequality in most scenarios. She emphasizes the need for policymakers to address this concerning trend to prevent technology from further intensifying social tensions.
The IMF’s projections suggest that advanced economies will experience a more significant impact, with AI affecting approximately 60% of jobs. In half of these cases, workers are anticipated to benefit from increased productivity resulting from AI integration. However, in other instances, AI may replace human-performed tasks, potentially reducing demand for labor, impacting wages, and even leading to job loss.
Contrastingly, the IMF foresees a lower influence of AI on jobs in low-income countries, projecting a 26% impact. This aligns with concerns raised by Ms. Georgieva about the potential for AI to worsen inequality among nations, particularly in regions lacking the necessary infrastructure and skilled workforce to harness AI benefits.
This analysis aligns with a 2023 report from Goldman Sachs estimating that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs. The report also suggests the possibility of new job creation and increased productivity. However, Ms. Georgieva warns that without comprehensive social safety nets and retraining programs for vulnerable workers, there is a risk that the AI transition could disproportionately benefit higher-income and younger workers, leaving lower-income and older workers at a disadvantage.
As discussions around AI intensify, global business and political leaders are addressing the topic at events like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The surge in applications like ChatGPT has sparked increased scrutiny and regulation of AI worldwide. The European Union recently reached a provisional deal on comprehensive AI regulations, and China has implemented some of the world’s first national AI regulations. In the United States, President Biden signed an executive order compelling AI developers to share safety results, and the UK hosted an AI Safety Summit with multiple countries signing a declaration on the safe development of AI technology.