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IMF Chief: Artificial Intelligence Striking Global Labor Market “Like a Tsunami”

Artificial intelligence is poised to disrupt the global labor market dramatically, affecting 60% of jobs in advanced economies and 40% worldwide over the next two years, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned on Monday.

Speaking at an event organized by the Swiss Institute of International Studies in Zurich, Georgieva emphasized the urgency of preparing for this transformation. “We have very little time to get people ready for it, businesses ready for it,” she stated.

Georgieva highlighted the dual nature of AI’s impact: while it could significantly boost productivity, it also has the potential to exacerbate misinformation and increase societal inequality.

Reflecting on the global economy, Georgieva noted its heightened vulnerability to shocks, referencing the 2020 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Despite anticipating further disruptions, particularly due to the climate crisis, she praised the economy’s resilience.

“We are not in a global recession,” Georgieva asserted, addressing concerns over economic downturns. “Last year, there were fears that most economies would slip into recession, but that didn’t happen. Inflation, which hit us with a very strong force, is on the decline almost everywhere.”

At the same event, Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan discussed Switzerland’s progress in combating inflation. He reported that inflation rose to 1.4% in April, marking the 11th consecutive month within the SNB’s target range of 0-2%. “The outlook for inflation is much better. It looks that for the next few years, inflation could be really in the same range of price stability,” Jordan said, though he cautioned about the prevailing uncertainties.

Georgieva’s remarks were occasionally interrupted by protesters demanding action on climate change and the debt crisis in developing countries.

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