Around 26% percent of jobs in India are “highly exposed” to disruption by artificial intelligence, or AI, in the foreseeable future, according to a recent analysis published by the International Monetary Fund.

Globally, the number stands at 40% for all jobs, while in developed economies, 60% of jobs are similarly susceptible.

The analysis cites data from India’s Periodic Labour Force Survey to state that most of the country’s jobs fall in the low-exposure category. This is because the majority of workers are “craftspeople, skilled agricultural workers, and low-skilled, or ‘elementary’ workers.” Essentially, jobs in India are therefore less likely to be impacted by artificial intelligence.

However, the analysis cautions that professionals, managers, clerical support workers, technicians and those working in service and sales jobs face the highest risk from artificial intelligence in the country.

India was also found to be an exception to a global trend of jobs held by women being more likely to be impacted by artificial intelligence. “[This] may be attributed to high shares of women in agricultural jobs, especially in countries where the farming sector is large [for example, India],” the analysis states.

On the other hand, advanced economies are highly exposed to artificial intelligence because of the predominance of “cognitive-intense” jobs. These markets will “experience the benefits and pitfalls of artificial intelligence sooner than emerging markets”, said the analysis.

To measure the risk that AI poses to job markets, the analysis considered the factor of “AI complementarity”. It said that AI would not necessarily render some jobs obsolete but could enhance their productivity.

“AI complementarity suggests that...about half [of jobs] may be negatively affected by AI while the rest could benefit,” the anaysis found, waarning that this could have lopsided benefits.

“The correlation between earnings and potential complementarity...suggests that AI’s gains will likely disproportionately accrue to higher-income earners, especially in countries such as India,” said the analysis.

In a blog post about the findings of the analysis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva emphasised the need to draft a “set of policies to safely leverage the vast potential of AI” in both advanced and emerging markets.

“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,” Georgiva wrote.

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