Automation Could Slash Jobs in Developing Countries

World Bank President Jim Kim warns that two-thirds of jobs in developing nations could be wiped out by automation, a situation that could boost conflict and refugee flows.   

Dr. Kim spoke Thursday in Washington as economic and political leaders from around the world gathered for meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Kim says it is not clear how fast automation will cut jobs. He says the threat to employment opportunity comes, though, amid soaring aspirations as near-universal access to the Internet means people in the poorest nations understand that other people have much more comfortable lives.

The World Bank president says the issue is urgent because the world already faces serious problems with conflict, climate shock, famine, and the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Kim says the solution is to mobilize trillions of dollars in private capital that currently is earning little or no interest. He says the bank is working out ways to make such investments less risky and more commercially viable.

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