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IMF Urges Countries to Establish Social Safety Nets as 40% of Global Jobs Face AI Impact

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns that 40% of jobs worldwide will be affected by artificial intelligence (AI), emphasizing the need for countries to create robust social safety nets.

In advanced economies like the US and UK, 60% of jobs are exposed to AI, with approximately half at risk of negative consequences. Jobs with “high complementarity” to AI, such as those requiring responsibility and human interaction (e.g., surgeons, lawyers, judges), are deemed safer. Conversely, roles with “low complementarity,” like telemarketing, may face displacement. In emerging market economies, AI exposure stands at 40%, and for low-income countries, it is 26%.

The IMF report stresses that AI’s influence on highly skilled jobs could exacerbate global inequality, calling for comprehensive social safety nets and retraining programmes to ensure an inclusive transition. The impact of AI on income and wealth distribution will be shaped by countries’ choices regarding AI property rights and fiscal policies. Discussions on AI’s role in the global economy are expected to feature prominently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with tech industry leaders in attendance. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, acknowledges the evolving nature of future jobs, emphasising the role of AI in mid-career transitions and expertise development. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) previously highlighted the risk to highly skilled jobs, constituting about 27% of employment across its member countries.

The IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, calls for comprehensive social safety nets and retraining programmes to ensure an inclusive AI transition and curb inequality.

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