IMF says 40% of jobs will be impacted by AI

Knowledge-based economies set to be hardest hit by business process automation
Image: Tara Winstead via Pexels

15 January 2024

Artificial intelligence will affect 40% of all the world’s jobs, according to a new report from the IMF. Some will disappear altogether; others will find replacements in AI.

International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva painted a bleak picture in her analysis.

“In most scenarios, AI increases overall inequality among workers. This is a worrying trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent greater social tensions,” she wrote.

Higher-paying jobs benefit more from AI technology, according to the IMF. That could lead to greater income inequality. The same is true for organisations. Those who get more return on capital with AI become wealthier than others. “However, if productivity gains are large enough everywhere, the majority will benefit.”

Developed economies are hit harder by the rise of AI in business processes than emerging markets. Says the IMF, “This is mainly because work is more knowledge intensive. That’s how worker structures are set up.”

In more advanced economies, AI is estimated to touch 60% of jobs. That is in line with the expectation expressed by consulting firm McKinsey last summer, which said 70% of workers could have half of their tasks automated. In poorer countries, the IMF report put that at 26%.

The publication of the report is not accidental. This week the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos, Switzerland. The subject of artificial intelligence and its impact is expected to be a hotly debated topic. The IMF is trying to influence perceptions somewhat.

The European Parliament will vote this spring on legislation that will determine within which frameworks AI may be deployed.

News Wires

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