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Artificial Intelligence Threatens Global Job Market, Warns IMF Chief

 |  May 14, 2024

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva likened the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the global labor market to a “tsunami.” Speaking at an event in Zurich, Georgieva forewarned that AI is poised to disrupt a significant portion of jobs worldwide, with advanced economies facing a staggering 60% impact and a still substantial 40% for the rest of the world within the next two years, as reported by Reuters.

“We have very little time to get people ready for it, businesses ready for it,” Georgieva emphasized at the gathering organized by the Swiss Institute of International Studies, affiliated with the University of Zurich. She underscored the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the fallout from this impending wave of technological disruption. Georgieva highlighted the potential for AI to fuel productivity gains if managed adeptly, yet cautioned about the concurrent risks of misinformation proliferation and exacerbation of societal inequalities.

Read more: New Report Says AI Regulations Lag Behind Industry Advances

The IMF chief’s grim prognosis extended beyond the labor market, noting the heightened vulnerability of the global economy to shocks in recent years. Georgieva cited the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as prominent examples. Despite this susceptibility to external pressures, she noted the remarkable resilience exhibited by the world economy thus far, dispelling fears of a looming global recession.

“We are not in global recession,” Georgieva affirmed, rebuffing concerns raised during the event. She pointed to the gradual waning of inflationary pressures across many regions as evidence of this resilience, echoing sentiments reported by Reuters. However, Georgieva’s assertions were not without opposition, as she faced heckling from climate change protesters advocating for decisive action on environmental issues and the alleviation of developing world debt burdens.

Adding to the discourse, Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan weighed in on the domestic front, asserting significant progress in Switzerland’s battle against inflation. Jordan’s remarks underscored the multifaceted challenges confronting policymakers as they navigate the complex interplay between technological disruption, economic stability and environmental sustainability.

Source: Reuters