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AI will affect 40% of jobs according to IMF

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AI will affect almost 40% of jobs worldwide, replacing some and complementing others, according research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The report said that AI could exacerbate existing inequalities and create new wealth gaps…

The report said automation had affected routine tasks historically, but AI could now impact high-skilled jobs, meaning advanced economies face both greater risks and benefits from AI.

In advanced economies it’s predicted that 60% of jobs may be impacted by AI. Half of these may benefit from AI integration, which could enhance productivity.

The PA and EA jobs are regarded as benefitting from AI integration as more time could be allocated to tasks requiring human engagement and strategic input would gain

However for the other half, AI could perform key tasks currently done by humans, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring, or the job completely disappearing, the report said. In a speech about the future of technology Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called AI a ‘co-pilot’ rather than a risk to jobs.

Geographical inequalities in the way AI affects jobs

AI exposure was predicted to be lower in emerging markets (40%) and low-income countries (26%).

The report said AI could also exacerbate existing geographical inequalities.

Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, said: “These findings suggest emerging markets and developing economies face fewer immediate disruptions from AI.

“At the same time, many of these countries don’t have the infrastructure or skilled workforces to harness the benefits of AI, raising the risk that over time the technology could worsen inequality among nations.”

The research also found AI could affect wealth inequality within countries and create new wealth gaps between those with digital skills and those without.

The report said: “We may see polarisation within income brackets, with workers who can harness AI seeing an increase in their productivity and wages, and those who cannot falling behind.

Younger workers may find it easier to exploit opportunities while older workers could struggle to adapt.”

Georgieva urged policy-makers to address these risks. She said: “In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policy-makers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions.

“It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retraining programmes for vulnerable workers.”

The UK is yet to establish its own AI laws, despite warnings from the government’s Science, Innovation and Technology Committee.

A stark warning by Elon Musk about AI ending all jobs

The cross-party group of MPs, which scrutinises technology policy, said if legislation was not introduced, the EU’s AI Act will become the standard for AI regulation.

The Trades Union Congress has also created a taskforce to draft legal protections to ensure AI is regulated fairly at work.

The taskforce is led by a committee including the CIPD, the University of Oxford, the British Computer Society and the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

Ben Willmott, head of policy at the CIPD, said the CIPD is seeking to inform the development of any future legislation in this area.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “It is important that both employers and policymakers understand any potential risks around the use of AI at work, including whether the current employment rights framework is sufficient.

“We will be using insights from this forum to build on our existing guidance and support to members on technology, and work to understand the strategies and policies employers need in order to optimise the benefits of AI for both the business and workers.”

We also cover how Assistants can futureproof their careers during the rise of AI.