Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, acknowledges that in most scenarios, AI is likely to exacerbate overall inequality. Ms. Georgieva emphasizes the importance of policymakers addressing this concerning trend to prevent technology from exacerbating social tensions.
As the proliferation of AI continues, it has brought both its benefits and risks to the forefront of discussions and considerations.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed that in advanced economies, AI is expected to have a more substantial impact, potentially affecting around 60% of jobs. The financial agency said that AI will help workers by allowing employees to increase their productivity in half of these cases.
However, there is a flip side to this scenario. AI may also possess the capability to perform essential tasks currently carried out by human workers. This could greatly decrease the need for human workers, which would result in job displacement and would affect wages as well.
In contrast, the IMF’s projections indicate that low-income countries may see a comparatively lower impact, with AI affecting only around 26% of jobs in these regions.
Ms Georgieva said: “Many of these countries don’t have the infrastructure or skilled workforces to harness the benefits of AI, raising the risk that over time the technology could worsen inequality among nations.”
In a broader sense, the IMF suggests that the adoption of AI may lead to a disproportionate increase in wages for higher-income and younger workers.
Conversely, lower-income and older workers might face challenges and could potentially fall behind in the changing job landscape due to the impact of AI. This trend highlights the importance of addressing potential inequalities and disparities arising from AI adoption.
Ms. Georgieva added: “It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retraining programs for vulnerable workers. In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality.”
The IMF’s analysis coincides with the gathering of global business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This timely examination of the potential effects of AI on the job market adds to the ongoing discussions on the future of work and technology’s role in shaping our economies and societies.