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Will AI take your job? IMF warn 60% of all roles may be impacted

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The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has generated a mix of interest, expectation, and apprehension among the public.

Some see it as a logical advancement in technology that will simplify various aspects of life, while others worry that it may result in widespread unemployment as it progresses and displaces human workers. Evidence supports both viewpoints, but a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests that there could be a balanced outcome in the near future.

The report focuses on the impact of global markets and economies and how their stability will determine the effect of AI on labor-intensive workplaces.

Will AI take our jobs?

According to the IMF’s report, nearly 40% of global employment is already exposed to AI. However, the introduction of AI poses a unique challenge, particularly with its potential to affect high-skilled jobs. The report stresses that “advanced economies face greater risks from AI—but also more opportunities to leverage its benefits—compared with emerging markets and developing economies.”

The report forecasts that approximately 60% of jobs in advanced economies could be affected by AI. It is estimated that about half of these jobs will benefit from AI integration, while the other half might be at risk of being replaced by AI-powered technology. However, this replacement would be limited to extreme cases, so there’s no need for immediate panic.

In contrast, in emerging markets and low-income economies, the workforce is projected to be impacted by only 40% and 26% respectively, indicating fewer immediate disruptions by AI. However, this is mainly because these countries do not yet have the infrastructure and skilled workforce to fully capitalize on the benefits of AI.

How can we stop AI from replacing humans?

The IMF’s report emphasizes the importance of countries promptly implementing specific policies related to the use of AI in particular markets. It has developed an AI Preparedness Index that assesses readiness in areas such as digital infrastructure, human capital and labor market policies, innovation and economic integration, regulation, and ethics.

This assessment includes factors such as years of schooling, job-market mobility, adaptability of digital business models, a country’s legal framework, and the existence of strong governance for effective enforcement.

The IMF used the index to evaluate the readiness of 125 countries, with the findings revealing that wealthier economies are generally better prepared for AI adoption than lower-income countries. As a result, it is suggested that stronger economies should embrace and prioritize AI innovation while developing regulatory frameworks, which will help “cultivate a safe and responsible AI environment, maintaining public trust.”

Featured Image: Image by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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