WEF 2024: Gita Gopinath says AI could take 30% of jobs in India

Gita Gopinath says AI could take 30% of jobs in India

In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18 Managing Editor Shereen Bhan at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, Gita Gopinath, the first Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delved into the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the global economy.

The conversation opened with the pervasive discussions surrounding AI and its potential to revolutionise jobs and disrupt various sectors. When asked about her perspective on what AI could mean for the global economy, Gopinath shared insights from a comprehensive study conducted by the IMF.

Gopinath highlighted the multifaceted concerns associated with AI, ranging from misinformation to its impact on labour markets. The study revealed a significant finding — an estimated 40% of jobs globally are susceptible to the influence of AI. However, this percentage varies across countries, with the United States facing a higher risk at 60%, and India experiencing a comparatively lower risk at 30%, primarily due to a significant workforce engaged in the agricultural sector, less affected by AI.

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“If you look at India, that number is 30%, because you have a large share of workers that are in the agricultural sector, which is not affected by AI, especially not Generative AI,” Gopinath said.

The discussion then delved into the nuanced understanding of how AI could both complement and substitute jobs within the 60% at risk in the United States. Gopinath emphasised the need to distinguish between those who benefit from AI, becoming more productive and those who might face job displacement. This nuanced analysis pointed to the potential for growing inequality, particularly in terms of wealth distribution, a concern flagged in the IMF’s recent research.

“Now, then there is a question of the US and of the 60% — what fraction gets benefits from the AI, becomes more productive because they have AI, versus how many of them are going to get substituted out — lose a job. So we’re talking about very large fractions of the population who are at risk of least if not losing their job, then in a sense being devalued a bit by the presence of AI,” she added.

Addressing the challenges faced by policymakers, Gopinath stressed that understanding the transformative nature of AI and formulating effective policies are imperative. She noted that policymakers, particularly within the G7, have identified AI as a top priority for the year, recognizing the need to grapple with its implications over the next several years.

Source: cnbctv18

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