AI hits workers like a ‘tsunami’ and is likely to impact 40% of global jobs in the next two years, IMF Managing Director Says

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva says AI is hitting the global labor market like a tsunami and driving major changes with impressive speed. She adds that AI is likely to impact 60% of jobs in advanced economies and 40% of jobs globally over the next two years. The economist believes that workers and businesses have very little time to adapt to new realities. She believes AI could increase productivity, but could also exacerbate inequalities in our society.

We have very little time to prepare people and businesses for this evolution. This could lead to a considerable increase in productivity if we manage it well, but it could also lead to more misinformation and, of course, more inequality in our society, Kristalina Georgieva said at an event organized by the Institute. Swiss International Studies from the University of Zurich. His comments echo an analysis published last January by the IMF. The report says the world needs a careful balance of policies to harness the potential of AI.

The popularization of AI has highlighted its benefits and risks. The IMF report concluded that AI could affect around 60% of jobs in advanced economies and 40% of jobs worldwide over the next two years. In half of these cases, workers can expect to benefit from AI integration, which will improve their productivity. In other cases, AI will have the ability to perform key tasks that are currently performed by humans. This development could reduce demand for human labor, affect wages and even eliminate jobs.

Last year, Goldman Sachs published a study that found AI could automate up to 25% of the entire job market. In more detail, economists at Goldman Sachs predict that AI is expected to replace humans in 46% of administrative tasks, 44% of legal jobs and 37% of architectural and engineering professions. As a result, around 300 million jobs could be eliminated by AI in the coming years, which the investment bank says means generative AI is on track to fundamentally disrupt work as we know it. .

However, the IMF’s analysis and recent comments from the director of the institution have given rise to mixed reactions. Some critics believe that replacing human labor with AI could pose long-term problems, because AI algorithms will never be able to free themselves from human supervision. One of them writes: AI cannot perform tasks that require a certain level of reasoning and if you fire the people who take care of this part, it will become a major problem and could even kill your organization . Another sharing AI fears wrote:

I have a strong worry. I’m a year shy of 50, I’m not as physically robust as I was when I was 20 and doing physical labor to pay my way through college, and no one is going to hire a guy for a job not technique that would probably take a few years to get up to speed in a field that is not yet familiar to me.

I don’t have youth on my side, and I still have a good decade before I’m financially stable enough to retire, because I spent my twenties in academia and refused to get involved in management activities. I did project management for a while and hated it with a passion. I do science, it’s what I love.

We still have a good year, two if we’re lucky, before AI can replace coders, it doesn’t need to be inventive, it just needs to be able to replace basic work, and most of ‘Of us are well aware that 99% of business computing is more or less the same thing over and over again. We are kidding ourselves if we think that most of these tasks cannot be automated.

IMF analysis suggests that emerging markets and developing economies face less immediate disruption from AI. At the same time, many of these countries lack the infrastructure or skilled workforce needed to harness the benefits of AI, increasing the risk that the technology will ultimately worsen inequalities between nations. Additionally, AI could also impact income and wealth inequality within countries. According to IMF economists, humanity could see polarization within income brackets.

For example, workers who can harness AI could see their productivity and wages increase, while those who can’t would fall behind. Research also shows that AI can help less experienced workers improve their productivity more quickly. Younger workers may have an easier time exploiting opportunities, while older workers may have difficulty adapting. The effect on labor income will largely depend on the extent to which AI complements high-income workers, the IMF report said.

If AI significantly complements high-income workers, it can lead to a disproportionate increase in their labor income. Additionally, productivity gains from companies adopting AI will likely boost returns on capital, which could support high revenues. These phenomena could exacerbate inequalities. In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a worrying trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further inflaming social tensions.

It should be noted that some critics also denounce the media hype that AI receives. According to them, most people who tout AI probably have no idea of ​​the technology’s real capabilities. In an interview last year, robotics researcher and AI expert Rodney Brooks said that big language models like GPT-4 and Bard are much “dumber” than we think and that they are still far from being able to compete with human intelligence in any task. Responding to the IMF Managing Director’s comments, another critic wrote:

If you pay money to have knowledge work done today, it has to be either very accurate (like legal work or technical writing) or very compelling (like writing a good story or an advertising slogan). ChatGPT is a very fancy autocomplete feature with an astronomical carbon footprint. Most of the things it can reasonably do, you don’t pay a lot of money to do today.

If your task is so insignificant that you can tolerate ChatGPT’s error rates and hallucinations, you’ve probably already given it to the lowest bidder overseas or you’re simply not paying anyone to do it today (think to translations into obscure languages).

I believe that if you think that ChatGPT and its competitors can make a massive dent in the job market, you are either lying and trying to sell your AI solutions, or you never really bothered to look at them or to try them.

Ultimately, the direct effect of AI on existing jobs will depend on whether the new technology complements or replaces workers’ skills. According to some analysts, if AI can replace workers in the tasks they previously performed, reducing production costs, increasing capital accumulation, and increasing machine productivity could offset this replacement. . Additionally, the creation of new tasks can directly counterbalance the initial job displacement.

Source: Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF

And you ?

What is your opinion on the subject?

What do you think of the IMF Managing Director’s statements on the impact of AI on the global labor market?

Is the use of the word “tsunami” to describe this impact an exaggeration? Are his statements consistent with reality?

In your opinion, what could be the impacts of AI on the global human workforce market in the years to come?

See as well

AI could replace human workers once AGI is achieved. A scenario that could happen in 5 to 20 years, according to a professor who spoke in an IMF column

AI should affect 40% of jobs and up to 60% for advanced economies, and worsen inequalities, according to the IMF

Goldman Sachs study says AI could automate 25% of current jobs worldwide, with economists, administrative workers and lawyers expected to be most affected



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