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Mapping the World’s Readiness for AI Shows Prospects Diverge

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New AI Preparedness Index Dashboard tracks 174 economies based on their digital infrastructure, human capital, labor policies, innovation, integration and regulation.

Artificial intelligence can increase productivity, boost economic growth, and lift incomes. However, it could also wipe out millions of jobs and widen inequality.

Our research has already shown how AI is poised to reshape the global economy. It could endanger 33 percent of jobs in advanced economies, 24 percent in emerging economies, and 18 percent in low-income countries. But, on the brighter side, it also brings enormous potential to enhance the productivity of existing jobs for which AI can be a complementary tool and to create new jobs and even new industries.

Most emerging market economies and low-income countries have smaller shares of high-skilled jobs than advanced economies, and so will likely be less affected and face fewer immediate disruptions from AI. At the same time, many of these countries lack the infrastructure or skilled workforces needed to harness AI’s benefits, which could worsen inequality among nations.

As the Chart of the Week shows, wealthier economies tend to be better equipped for AI adoption than low-income countries. The data draw from the IMF’s new AI Preparedness Index Dashboard for 174 economies, based on their readiness in four areas: digital infrastructure, human capital and labor market policies, innovation and economic integration, and regulation.

AI Preparedness Index

image Channel1 News Mapping the World's Readiness for AI Shows Prospects Diverge

Measuring preparedness is challenging, partly because the institutional requirements for economy-wide integration of AI are still uncertain. As the dashboard shows, different countries are at different stages of readiness in leveraging the potential benefits of AI and managing the risks.

Under most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers can work to prevent. To this end, the dashboard is a response to significant interest from our stakeholders in accessing the index. It is a resource for policymakers, researchers, and the public to better assess the AI preparedness and, importantly, to identify the actions and design the policies needed to help ensure that the rapid gains of AI can benefit all.

AI can also complement worker skills, enhancing productivity and expanding opportunities. In advanced economies, for example, some 30 percent of jobs could benefit from AI integration. Workers who can harness the technology may see pay gains or greater productivity—while those who can’t, may fall behind. Younger workers may find it easier to exploit opportunities, while older workers could struggle to adapt.

For policymakers, those in advanced economies should expand social safety nets, invest in training workers, and prioritize AI innovation and integration. Coordinating with one another globally, these countries also should strengthen regulation to protect people from potential risks and abuses and build trust in AI. The policy priority for emerging market and developing economies should be to lay a strong foundation by investing in digital infrastructure and digital training for workers.

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