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IMF Says AI Could Impact 60% of Jobs in Advanced Economies

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on employment will be especially great in advanced economies, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Overall, among economies of all kinds, about 40% of global employment is exposed to AI, the IMF said in a Sunday (Jan. 14) blog post.

However, in advanced economies, around 60% of jobs may be impacted by AI, according to the post. That’s because the technology can impact high-skilled jobs.

While half of these jobs may benefit from AI integration, the other half may see key tasks currently performed by humans being executed by AI applications, potentially resulting in lower labor demand, reduced wages and decreased hiring, the post said. In some cases, certain jobs may even disappear.

Emerging markets and low-income countries are expected to have AI exposure rates of 40% and 26%, respectively, per the post.

While these economies may experience fewer immediate disruptions from AI, they often lack the necessary infrastructure and skilled workforces to fully leverage its benefits, the post said. This raises concerns that over time, AI could worsen inequality among nations.

AI also has the potential to impact income and wealth inequality within countries, according to the post. Workers who can effectively harness AI may experience increased productivity and wages, while those who cannot do so may fall behind.

Research suggests that AI can help less experienced workers enhance their productivity more quickly, potentially benefiting younger workers, the report said. However, older workers may struggle to adapt to the changing landscape.

The IMF has developed an AI Preparedness Index to help countries craft policies to address these challenges, according to the post. This index measures readiness in areas such as digital infrastructure, human capital and labor-market policies, innovation and economic integration, and regulation and ethics.

The organization suggested that advanced economies should prioritize AI innovation and integration while developing robust regulatory frameworks to foster a safe and responsible AI environment, the post said.

For emerging market and developing economies, the focus should be on laying a strong foundation through investments in digital infrastructure and a digitally competent workforce, per the post.

A recent survey by ResumeBuilder found that among the leaders of businesses that are using AI, 37% said that the technology replaced workers in 2023, and 44% said they expect it will do so in 2024.