• According to the IMF, some jobs will be secure as they possess “high complementarity” and will be strengthened by AI.
  • The report bears similarities to one released by Goldman Sachs economists in March 2023, indicating that AI could jeopardize 300 million jobs in the coming decade.

A recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund predicts that artificial intelligence is poised to impact 40% of all jobs, causing significant disruption.

In the 42-page report titled “Gen-AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work,” released recently, the International Monetary Fund discussed the prospect of a “new industrial revolution.” While the implications for societies and economies may currently be challenging to comprehend, the agency emphasized the likelihood of significant workplace disruption and the potential for increased inequality.

Researchers said, “In advanced economies, about 60% of jobs are exposed to AI, due to prevalence of cognitive-task-oriented jobs. A new measure of potential AI complementarity suggests that, of these, about half may be negatively affected by AI, while the rest could benefit from enhanced productivity through AI integration. Overall exposure is 40% in emerging market economies and 26% in low-income countries.”

Similar findings were made in a report by Goldman Sachs economists published in March 2023, which predicted that over the next ten years, artificial intelligence would threaten 300 million jobs. There are many tech leaders and researchers who believe that we are at a turning point in human history, and they have convinced us to pause the development of artificial intelligence. However, some business titans hold the opposing view, believing that artificial intelligence will change the world for the betterment of all living things.

The IMF claims that some jobs will be safe because they have “high complementarity” and can only be improved by AI. Surgeons and judges are two examples of professions where generative AI will be useful in accessing vast volumes of data. However, certain occupations, like telemarketers, have “low complementarity,” which means AI may eventually replace them entirely.

The Managing Director of IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, said, “Roughly half the exposed jobs may benefit from AI integration, enhancing productivity. For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring. In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear.”

This could lead to social upheaval, primarily in developed countries equipped to adopt the technological revolution, potentially leaving less affluent nations lagging.

According to the report, “Emerging market and developing economies, often still reliant on manual labor and traditional industries, may initially face fewer AI-induced disruptions. However, these economies may also miss out on early AI-driven productivity gains, given their lack of infrastructure and a skilled workforce. Over time, the AI divide could exacerbate existing economic disparities.”