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Latin America 2020: labor market and AI

In response to the growth of Artificial Intelligence, experts warn about its impact on the Latin American labor market.

Person touching the hand of a robot

Person touching the hand of a robot. / Photo: Pxhere

LatinAmerican Post | Karen Rodriguez

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Leer en español: Latinoamérica 2020: mercado laboral e inteligencia artificial

There is an imminent correlation between the development of Artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, and robotics asymmetrically with the development of the social application of these technologies, this seems to recur over the years. Particularly, in the Latin American region, which seeks to assimilate and adapt its dynamics in a world in which science walks almost at the same pace as social inequality.

Humanity is at the gates of receiving the world's first exascale computer, which means that it will have the ability to perform one billion calculations per second, generating not only genetic and astronomical data but also giving greater extension to Artificial Intelligence. While that is happening, the debate about this has intensified thanks to the resuscitation of the social and political conflict generated last year in countries such as Chile, Ecuador or Bolivia.

The work itself, the development of the productive forces of the region, and the mass of workers have been the main protagonists of the impact of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and the main debutante, Machine Learning. The latter already has multiple practical applications of incidence in everyday life that will increase in risk according to the latest report of the ILO (International Labor Organization) that warns about the rise of unemployment in the Latin American region, with a projection of 25.8 million unemployed people by 2020.

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The general context of the region

Carlos Rodríguez, director of the ILO for Latin America and the Caribbean warns " that there will be no great progress in the coming years with a percentage of unemployment maintained ", in addition, "everything indicates that to achieve an improvement in the employment situation the region must grow more and better". It is precisely where the debate centers. With a percentage of unemployment, companies oriented to new technologies foresee only investing in adaptation and expansion of Big Data and analytics, mobility and products related to Social Networks, concentrating 58% of expenses in companies in the Information Technology sector according to the IDC research firm.

On the other hand, the growth of the strongest and largest economies in the region that has encouraging prospects but with low percentages should be taken into account. For Mexico, a growth of 0.5%, Argentina of 0.3% and Brazil of 0.1% is expected. This directly affects investments in the labor market, in which Brazil and Argentina have the highest public debt, except for the critical case of Venezuela that responds to other contexts, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Outlook for 2020

Labor informality due to technological changes, the incorporation of women into formal employment and the application of fair economic policies for workers, are some of the pending issues for the governments of the region in order to achieve effective development of AI without delving into popular demands. 2020 is a decisive year for many economies but also for the application of new technologies, especially in response to social demands.

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