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Harnessing the opportunity of artificial intelligence in Denmark

Research shows that Denmark is in a strong starting position for using artificial intelligence as a force for social good, but a concerted effort is necessary to stay ahead of the curve.

Artificial intelligence (AI) already influences our lives and economy in a multitude of ways, whether filtering unwanted e-mails, automatically recognizing photos of friends on social media, determining malignant cancer cells, controlling air traffic, or determining credit worthiness. Yet we are still only in the beginning of the AI (r)evolution. AI is set to reshape the Danish society, industries, jobs, and lives over the coming years and decades. It has the potential to boost GDP growth through increased productivity and innovation, helping both the public and private sectors deliver new products and come up with entirely new solutions to unsolved problems. It also offers an opportunity to fundamentally improve human well-being, including making lives healthier, longer, and filled with more leisure.

Our research suggests that AI can become a clear force for good in Denmark, if properly managed. Possibilities for positive societal impact range from increased environmental sustainability to more meaningful jobs focused on creativity and social skills. However, some of its effects can have both positive and negative implications. For instance, some 40 percent of Danish working hours are estimated to be automatable using current technology, implying a likelihood of both productivity gains and job losses. Our analyses suggest that AI’s potential to be a force for good is contingent on it being used to pursue innovation-led growth rather than just cost savings, on employers ensuring that AI diffusion is actively accompanied by transition management that equips employees with new skills, and on the public and private sectors making it a strategic priority to stay ahead of the curve, investing in AI research, data availability, safeguarding of ethical and data privacy concerns, and cross sectoral collaboration. If policy makers, corporate leaders, educators, and other stakeholders can manage the negative effects and proactively capture the upside, the net impact is expected to be positive.

The report includes a mapping of AI activities and AI skills in Denmark, including AI-related innovation, research, and adoption across the public and private sectors, and assessment of the economic and welfare potential in Denmark. Building on these insights, we suggest a number of opportunity areas for Denmark, as a concerted effort across the public and private sectors is necessary for Denmark to be a leading AI adoption and innovator.

To download the full report, click the link below.