Artificial intelligence is set to affect 40 per cent of jobs around the world, the International Monetary Fund warns.
The IMF says the impact will be greater for advanced economies, with about 60 per cent of roles affected.
About half of those workers will benefit from the integration of AI, which could boost productivity, but the remainder could see lower salaries, reduced hiring and “in the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear”, according to the IMF.
In a report on AI and machine learning, the IMF says the technology could worsen inequality between nations as well as within society as a whole.
Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said: “We are on the brink of a technological revolution that could jump-start productivity, boost global growth and raise incomes around the world. Yet it could also replace jobs and deepen inequality.”
She said the impact of AI was unusual in that it could also affect well-paid jobs.
“Historically, automation and information technology have tended to affect routine tasks, but one of the things that sets AI apart is its ability to impact high-skilled jobs,” Georgieva said.
The IMF is concerned that advanced economies can adopt AI more quickly and harness its benefits more than developing nations, and also warned over the impact within societies and communities.
“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,” Georgieva said.
“It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retraining programmes for vulnerable workers.
“In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality.”
The report comes as business and political leaders gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the rise of AI set to be in sharp focus, as well as worries over global conflicts.
(Australian Associated Press)