Strong fiscal policies needed to mitigate AI generated job losses, says IMF

File picture: Jonathan Raa / NurPhoto via AFP.

File picture: Jonathan Raa / NurPhoto via AFP.

Published Jun 18, 2024


Fiscal policy has a "major role to play" in broadening the financial gains from generative AI technology and preventing a spike in wealth inequality, the IMF said Monday.

Left unchecked, generative artificial intelligence (AI) threatens to amplify job losses among white collar professions, International Monetary Fund staff wrote in a new paper.

The technology forms the core of chatbots including Microsoft's Copilot, Google's Gemini, and OpenAI's ChatGPT .

To mitigate the negative effects of generative AI, governments should consider putting in place new measures to raise additional revenue and support people who lose their jobs, the IMF said.

"Fiscal policy has a major role to play in supporting a more equal distribution of gains and opportunities from generative-AI," IMF staff wrote in a blog post published to accompany the new paper.

"But this will require significant upgrades to social-protection and tax systems around the world," they continued, arguing in favor of more generous unemployment insurance and investment in sector-based training to prepare workers for "the jobs of the AI age."

The IMF staff came out against the idea of implementing a special tax on AI products, which some academics have called for, arguing that it could end up hampering productivity growth.

Instead, corporate tax breaks that encourage the "rapid displacement of human jobs" should be reconsidered, and taxes on capital income should be strengthened to help "offset rising wealth inequality," they added.

Agence France-Presse