IMF: AI To Impact Nearly 40% of Jobs Worldwide

January 15, 2024

AI will affect almost 40 percent of jobs around the world, replacing some and complementing others.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva on the organization’s analysis of the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) to labor markets around the world. (The IMF is an organization working to promote international financial stability.)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) = “… the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings” (Brittanica). IBM explains, “At its simplest form, artificial intelligence is a field, which combines computer science and robust datasets, to enable problem-solving.”

Big Picture: IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva says, “We are on the brink of a technological revolution that could jumpstart productivity, boost global growth and raise incomes around the world. Yet it could also replace jobs and deepen inequality.” For example, the IMF explained that AI’s implementation is unlikely to be equal worldwide, with advanced economies being “better positioned” to more immediately benefit (and experience negative impacts) from the quickly evolving technology. In advanced economies, the IMF says about 60% of jobs will be impacted by AI, of which approximately half could benefit from enhanced productivity due to the technology’s implementation; “For the other half, AI applications may execute tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring,” with jobs disappearing “In the most extreme cases” (IMF).

Important To Note: In its analysis, the IMF notes, “The exact implications of AI for economies and societies are challenging to predict, embodying a level of uncertainty reminiscent of past introductions of general-purpose technologies, such as electricity.” As AI continues to develop, the IMF says advanced economies and developed emerging market economies should improve regulations related to AI while also “safeguarding those adversely affected.” The IMF also says emerging market and developing economies should focus on “the development of digital infrastructure and digital skills.”

Read More: AI Will Transform the Global Economy. Let’s Make Sure It Benefits Humanity (IMF Blog)

IMF warns AI to hit almost 40% of jobs worldwide and worsen overall inequality (CNBC)

AI to hit 40% of jobs and worsen inequality, IMF says (BBC)

What is the IMF? (Council on Foreign Relations)

IMF’s full analysis found here: Gen-AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas