IMF Chief discusses AI impact on jobs and productivity

Artificial intelligence poses risks to job security around the world but also offers a “tremendous opportunity” to boost flagging productivity levels and fuel global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva told AFP.

AI will affect 60 percent of jobs in advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, said in an interview in Washington, shortly before departing for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.”And the more you have higher skilled jobs, the higher the impact,” she added.

However, the IMF report published on Sunday evening notes that only half of the jobs impacted by AI will be negatively affected; the rest may actually benefit from enhanced productivity gains due to AI.

The IMF report predicted that, while labor markets in emerging markets and developing economies will see a smaller initial impact from AI, they are also less likely to benefit from the enhanced productivity that will arise through its integration in the workplace.

“We must focus on helping low income countries in particular to move faster to be able to catch the opportunities that artificial intelligence will present,” Georgieva told AFP.

“So artificial intelligence, yes, a little scary. But it is also a tremendous opportunity for everyone,” she said.

The IMF is due to publish updated economic forecasts later this month which will show the global economy is broadly on track to meet its previous forecasts, she said.