IMF boss warns AI “tsunami” could devastate global jobs market

IMF boss warns AI “tsunami” could devastate global jobs market

The head of the IMF has warned of an AI-induced “tsunami” that could hit the jobs market.

Speaking at an event organized by the Swiss Institute of International Studies, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dr Kristalina Georgieva painted a picture of a “slow-moving tsunami” set to disrupt employment landscapes across the global as businesses continue to adopt and integrate artificial intelligence solutions designed to improve efficiency and productivity.

Citing projections, she warned AI could affect around two in five jobs globally, or as many as three in five in advanced economies such as the US and UK.

Could AI be taking our jobs after all?

Despite the IMF’s concerning outlook, its boss emphasized that the outcome doesn’t have to be predetermined, urging proactive management to use AI for its productivity benefits.

Georgieva summarized (via Reuters): “It could bring [a] tremendous increase in productivity if we manage it well, but it can also lead to more misinformation and, of course, more inequality in our society.”

The boss warned that “we have very little time to get people ready for it,” implying the urgency of taking the right steps to reap the rewards of the technology while also protecting workers.

However, while many have argued that AI only serves to improve worker productivity rather than replace human workers altogether, others are concerned that companies will need to employ fewer workers as a direct result of this improved productivity.

At the start of the year, Google laid off a number of its workers in the advertising unit, with AI reportedly being held accountable. Layoffs have already exceeded 83,000, comprising a mix of AI-induced redundancies and cost-cutting measures.

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Craig Hale

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