A new report from the IMF says artificial intelligence (AI) is coming for our jobs. While it could make everyone richer by speeding up work, it might also leave millions without jobs, especially in countries like the US and Europe. The IMF worries this could make the rich richer and the poor poorer unless governments figure out how to help people in the robot revolution.
The report estimates that AI technologies, including machine learning and robotics, could affect almost 40% of jobs worldwide. In advanced economies like the United States and Western Europe, about 60% of jobs may be influenced by AI, potentially leading to job displacement and impacting wages.
AI is being integrated into businesses around the world at remarkable speed, underscoring the need for policymakers to act --Kristalina Georgieva, IMF
Emerging markets and developing countries face AI exposure at 40% and 26%, respectively. However, these nations risk missing out on AI's productivity benefits without proper digital infrastructure, human capital, regulations, and integration.
The IMF report highlights potential inequality within countries, with younger, highly educated, high-income workers benefiting more from AI. Older workers in routine jobs face vulnerability to job loss and stagnant incomes, exacerbating inequality.
To address these challenges, the IMF recommends a comprehensive policy approach, including strengthening social safety nets, implementing workforce retraining programs, improving digital connectivity, and regulating responsible AI innovation and ethics. The IMF introduces the AI Preparedness Index to help countries identify reform priorities in areas like digital infrastructure, human capital, and governance.
Historically, automation and information technology have tended to affect routine tasks, but one of the things that sets AI apart is its ability to impact high-skilled jobs
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva emphasises the need for policymakers to balance technological progress with broader societal benefits. The report calls for proactive policy intervention, recognizing the urgency as businesses rapidly integrate AI.
The AI era is upon us, and it is still within our power to ensure it brings prosperity for all, added Kristalina.