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Norway’s billion-kroner investment in AI should target innovation
By Yngvar Ugland, Tor W. Andreassen  |  Dec 20, 2023
Norway’s billion-kroner investment in AI should target innovation
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To get the most bang for one’s buck - or krone - means carefully choosing how AI funds are allocated. Innovation Prof Tor W. Andreassen of NHH Norwegian School of Economics and tech executive Yngvar Ugland discuss the pros and cons of prioritizing AI inventions vs. innovations.

OSLO - The Norwegian government's commitment to spend NOK1 billion (USD95 million) over five years on artificial intelligence (AI) research marks a significant stride in recognizing the technology’s potential. This prompts a pivotal question: Should the focus be directed toward researching the development of AI technologies (inventions), or should the emphasis be more on understanding how these developments are harnessed in the commercial landscape (innovations)?

Capturing AI inventions’ value

Harvard Business School Prof Theodore Levitt introduced the idea of ‘marketing myopia’ in a seminal article in 1960. Companies that concentrate too much on their current products and markets risk jeopardizing their long-term sustainability, Levitt warned. This concept also applies to what one might call ‘innovation myopia,’ which refers to organizations restricting themselves to incremental enhancements and overlooking the potential for groundbreaking, disruptive innovations - commonly known as ‘moonshots.’ 

Several Norwegian companies already provide compelling examples of how one should innovatively use AI to create novel solutions. Industrial Internet of Things data platform developer Cognite’s pioneering use of generative AI technology in data management is helping legacy industries improve their operations and invest in a sustainable, carbon-free future. Oslo-based e-commerce print product provider Gelato supplies software that has streamlined global print production, and warehouse robot maker

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