The International Monetary Fund is predicting that 40% of jobs worldwide will be affected by the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI).

The IMF is calling for governments to create and implement the necessary safety nets to counterbalance the strains AI will have on the workforce. 

Among the suggestions is for governments to offer retraining programs. 

“In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions,” she wrote Kristialina Georgieva, in the lead up to the annual World Economic Forum WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Other speakers at the annual conference include chief executive of OpenAI Sam Altman, the company responsible for creating ChatGPT and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

The two will speak during a debate scheduled for Tuesday, titled,  “Generative AI: Steam Engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?”

In her blog, Georgieva addressed that while AI will come with many benefits, it will also be devastating to the human workforce, particular in countries with more advanced economies that have a high base of white-collar workers. 

In countries where the economy depends less on manual labour and more on white-collar industries, as much as 60% of jobs could be negatively hit by the impact of AI. 

“For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labour demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring,” wrote Georgievas.

“In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear.”

For the countries which are considered emerging economies or lower-income, the impact won’t be felt as significantly, with 40% and 26% of jobs expected to be affected by AI respectively. 

For example, India and Brazil are countries with emerging markets whereas Burundi and Sierra Leone would be lower-income nations. 

“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,” noted Georgieva.

Georgieva also warned of the likelihood that AI will increase social unrest, in particular among youth, who are less experienced employees and easier to replace with AI. 

The topic of AI was widely discussed at the WEF meeting in Davos last year, following the introduction of ChatGPT onto the global market and the AI generated system has only made evermore technological upgrades since, due to massive corporate investment. 

Many tech firms have already cited AI as the reason that they are recalibrating their staffing decisions.

AI is expected to increase labour productivity and boost the global GDP by 7% annually over the next decade, according to an estimate from Goldman Sachs economists last year.