The Impact of AI on Employment and Economic Development

18 de January de 2024

  • Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a transformative force in modern society, generating significant advances in all types of industries. However, this progress is not without concerns, especially with regard to employment and the development of economies, creating even greater disparities between rich and developing countries.
  • According to the IMF, artificial intelligence will affect 60% of jobs in advanced economies, where, for the first time, the most qualified workers are among those threatened by this technological innovation.

Automation and labour developments

One of the most notable effects of AI on employment development is the automation of routine and repetitive tasks. While this may increase efficiency and reduce costs for companies, it also poses a potential loss of jobs, with even the most highly skilled affected. The International Monetary Fund estimates that up to 60 per cent of employment in advanced economies will be impacted, while it will be lower in emerging and low-income economies.

On the other hand, AI is also a major source of job creation. As new technologies are developed, job opportunities arise in fields such as software development, data engineering, ethics and cybersecurity. Their adaptation requires agile and flexible educational programmes that prepare workers from different industries to take on the challenges of this growing vector.

Economic development and competitiveness

Within the context of advanced economies, about half of the exposed jobs could benefit from AI integration. This amounts to an improvement in productivity, despite the risk that it could lead to the substitution of tasks currently performed by people, which would reduce labour demand, lead to lower wages, reduced hiring and even the disappearance of some jobs.

On the contrary, in emerging markets and low-income countries, AI is expected to cause less immediate disruptionThe fact that many of these countries do not have the infrastructure and skilled labour force to take advantage of the benefits of this technology, which is a major challenge for many of them, means that they are not in a position to take advantage of this technology. in turn increases the risk that, over time, AI may worsen inequality between countries..

Ethical and social challenges

AI also raises ethical challenges, such as data privacy, autonomous decision-making and algorithmic discrimination. To this end, the European Union has approved the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act. A regulation that seeks to control and ensure that these systems are safe and respect the fundamental rights of users, both in the public and private sectors, based on 5 key points:

  • La IA se clasificará en función de sus riesgos. Labelling them by hazard level.
  • Transparency, i.e. compliance with copyright, will be required.
  • Applications that violate citizens’ privacy rights will be banned and/or removed.
  • General-purpose IAs should provide transparency and security
  • Sanctions will be applied to ensure compliance with this regulation.

If you want to know more about this new law, as well as the risks and challenges facing the industry, see our article: The risks of AI: between promise and concern.