IMF Chief Warns AI Could Threaten Jobs Globally But Also Create New Opportunities

Manoj Prasad

Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently warned about how artificial intelligence (AI) could affect work around the world. Before the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Georgieva said that AI can make people more productive, but it also threatens job stability around the world.

Georgieva said, “AI can get rid of existing roles or make them much more useful.” “It affects job losses and new opportunities in different ways depending on the income group in the country.”

An IMF study says that AI could affect almost 40% of jobs around the world. But the effects are expected to be not even.

The IMF study says that AI could affect 60% of jobs in advanced, developed economies. It’s not as bad in poor countries, where only 25% of jobs are in danger. But workers in countries with lower incomes often don’t have as many career choices.

Georgieva said that jobs that require more skill are most likely to be automated. AI can now match or beat human abilities in areas like creativity, decision-making, natural language processing, and complex cognitive skills.

Lower-skilled jobs that need to deal with others or be flexible in unpredictable environments are harder to automate. Still, manufacturing, farming, and mining are areas of the economy that depend on growing economies the most. These are all areas that are very likely to use AI.

Georgieva said, “In poorer countries, the share of high-risk jobs is lower, but workers find it harder to adapt and get new jobs because there aren’t as many social safety nets.”

The IMF study talks about both the pros and cons of AI. Some jobs will go away, but new ones will appear, and higher efficiency can lead to economic growth.

Georgieva said, “AI can help countries of all income levels if they have the right policies in place.” She tells governments to put money into education to teach digital skills, keep workers trained, and make social safety programs stronger.

Productivity could go up a lot if countries can train workers to switch between jobs at the same time they use AI. The IMF study shows that at least half of the jobs that will be affected by AI could see pay gains.

On the other hand, the world’s economy is getting more complicated even without AI. Georgieva said that 2023 would be hard because of rising prices, tighter money conditions, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China. The world’s debt is still high because of the money spent on pandemic aid.

This year, elections are happening in more than 80 countries. More spending by governments to win over people could make debt problems even worse. Policymakers in both developed and developing economies will have to figure out how to deal with the loss of jobs caused by AI in this dangerous environment.

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