Gopinath was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow
Gita Gopinath, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) first deputy managing director, delivered a speech at the University of Glasgow while commemorating the 300th birth anniversary of famous economist Adam Smith, an esteemed alumnus of the university.
She focused on the implications of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in her speech and its potential to reshape our society. Drawing parallels between the Industrial Revolution and the current AI era, she posed thought-provoking questions on how Smith could have responded to this advancement in technology.
Gopinath highlighted the need for harnessing AI’s potential and ensuring its benefits are equitably distributed, alongside explaining The Wealth of Nations, Smith’s influential work about the significance of productivity in raising living standards. She emphasized that the benefits of AI could be vast, growing global output by trillions of dollars.
She cautioned in her speech, about the risk of AI simply replacing human jobs without adding any new economic value and underlined that robust social safety nets, reinvigorating labor market policies, and training workers are essential for the evolving job market. She pointed out to develop rules for AI’s manipulation of information and the need for human empathy and interaction in view of AI’s ability to replicate human speech.
“New legislation proposed by the EU is an encouraging start. The EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act classifies AI by risk levels. The highest-risk systems would be banned. This would include government systems that rank people based on social compliance, known as “social scoring.” The next-highest risk level would be tightly regulated, with requirements for transparency and human oversight.”