'In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear,' warns CEO
The rapid growth of artificial intelligence would expose almost 40% of global employment, with advanced economies facing greater risks, according to a new analysis from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The analysis revealed that about 60% of jobs in advanced economies are exposed to AI, while 40% are exposed for emerging market economies, and 26% for low-income economies.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said this is likely because of AI's ability to impact high-skilled jobs.
"As a result, advanced economies face greater risks from AI—but also more opportunities to leverage its benefits—compared with emerging market and developing economies," Georgieva said on a blog post this week.
The IMF chief said roughly half of exposed jobs in advanced economies are at risk due to AI applications executing key tasks that can be carried out by humans, which could lead to lower demand, lower wages, and reduced hiring.
"In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear," she said.
The IMF's findings echo previous report from Goldman Sachs that the rapid emergence of AI could put 300 million jobs at risk.
Could AI worsen inequality?
Meanwhile, the analysis also suggested that while emerging and market developing economies face lesser risks of disruption from AI, they are also less ready to seize its benefits.
"This could exacerbate the digital divide and cross-country income disparity," the analysis said.
Georgieva also pointed out that AI could impact income and wealth inequality within countries.
"We may see polarization within income brackets, with workers who can harness AI seeing an increase in their productivity and wages—and those who cannot falling behind. Research shows that AI can help less experienced workers enhance their productivity more quickly," the IMF chief said.
Younger workers may also find it easier to exploit opportunities, while older workers could find it hard to adapt, according to Georgieva.
Fostering a safe AI environment
The IMF chief then underscored that it would be up to countries to come up with social safety nets and offer retraining programmes for workers vulnerable to AI.
"In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions," she said. "In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods, and curbing inequality."
Georgieva urged advanced economies to develop regulatory frameworks while also prioritizing AI innovation and integration. Emerging and developing economies should also put more focus on investing in digital infrastructure and in digitally competent workforce as groundwork for AI.
"The AI era is upon us, and it is still within our power to ensure it brings prosperity for all," she said.