AI’s Impact on Global Workforce: Developing Countries at Higher Risk of Job Loss

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the global workforce, with a significant impact expected on jobs involving repetitive tasks. This particularly puts customer service, retail, and clerical roles at high risk of being replaced by AI. However, the effects of AI are not limited to these areas alone; creative and white-collar jobs are also likely to see varying degrees of impact.

A crucial aspect often overlooked in discussions about AI and employment is the geographical factor. Workers in developing countries, where jobs often involve manual or repetitive tasks, are more vulnerable to being replaced by AI technologies. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, the most significant job losses are expected in clerical and secretarial roles, directly influenced by the rise of digitalization and emerging technologies.

For example, AI tools capable of handling tasks like answering phones or scheduling appointments make certain jobs attractive for automation. While it might seem that developed countries, with easier access to AI tools, would see more job losses, it’s actually workers in developing countries who face a greater threat. Their adaptation to the workforce displacement will play a critical role in national success.

The United Nations International Telecommunication Union’s ICT development index, measuring countries’ ICT evolution and capabilities, suggests that countries with higher scores are better positioned to adapt to AI technologies. Predictably, developed nations rank higher than their developing counterparts in this regard.

Employment dynamics in developing countries, characterized by lower wages and less stringent regulations, further contribute to the vulnerability of their workforce. The World Bank’s data shows that a significant portion of the world’s working-age population resides in these countries. Consequently, the digital revolution risks not just unemployment but also widening income inequality in these regions.

However, AI is not just a harbinger of job losses; it also brings new employment opportunities, including yet-to-be-created roles. The key to remaining relevant in this changing job landscape is to develop analytical and creative thinking skills. Living in a developed country can be an advantage in this transition, underscoring the importance of geographical factors in the future of work.