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Audun Wickstrand Iversen

Audun Wickstrand Iversen is a Portfolio Manager for DNB Fund Disruptive Opportunities.

After five years as a Financial Analyst in DNB Markets, Audun joined us in 2001 as Portfolio Manager for several top-rated mutual funds. In 2007 he left the company to pursue other initiatives; started several companies and sat as a board member, chairman, and CEO in listed and unlisted companies at Oslo Stock Exchange. After rejoining us as Portfolio Manager in 2019 he is now focusing on Blue Investments and Disruptive Opportunities across global sectors.

Audun holds a MSc in Economics and Business Administration (Siviløkonom) from the Norwegian School of Business NHH. He also holds a two-year Higher Level-degree in Strategy from Norwegian School of Business NHH and a Bachelors degree from the University of Oslo.


Nowadays, more data is generated each hour than was produced in an entire year two decades ago. The potential that lies within them is far from being fully utilised. However, this is changing now: Generative AI models such as ChatGPT enable machines to understand human language and produce human dialogue and content. Every industry will be affected by the AI revolution, from data-intensive industries such as healthcare and finance to service industries such as education and counselling. The impact on global GDP could be an additional 15.7 trillion dollars by the middle of the next decade (BofA Thematic Research).

Due to this rapid data development, we will no longer be talking about gigabytes or terabytes in the future, as the digital universe is already in the yottabyte range today, which corresponds to the data volume of 250 trillion DVDs. The digital future will be geopbytes. Imagine the data storage of 7.5 trillion 128 GB iPhones 13 lying on the ground - an area equivalent to more than one and a half billion football fields. The Library of Congress in the USA, one of the largest libraries in the world, has a huge collection of books, documents and media. A geopbyte could store thousands, if not millions, of these libraries.

Industry 5.0 thanks to AI

But why are AI and data so closely intertwined? We like to think of data as the investor and AI as the company. A company can create value because it receives resources from an investor. In the same way, AI can use data to create value for itself. However, today's advanced AI is changing the way we collect, store and use data. We call this the AI revolution.

Thanks to AI, we are currently surfing the fifth wave of the industrial revolution, Industry 5.0 for short. Industry 5.0 is characterised by human robots, interaction and cognitive systems. Until recently, AI could only read and write, but not understand content. In the meantime, applications such as ChatGPT are able to understand natural language and produce dialogues and content. Analysts are already talking about an "iPhone moment" for AI. No product before ChatGPT has ever been embraced faster.

The winners of the AI revolution

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will influence most industries. Artificial intelligence is primarily about calculations. This requires computing power and data storage. A ChatGPT search, for example, costs between 10 and 100 times more than a normal Google search. The winners of such developments are companies such as the American company NVIDIA, which manufactures graphics processors. Suppliers such as NVIDIA, AMD, Micron Technology and the semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm are therefore likely to be among the early beneficiaries. The Taiwanese company Samis is also in the race. Next in line are the large platforms that can expand an existing network, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Meta. The third group of companies that stand to benefit are those that have an independent business model or have identified opportunities to increase sales and/or margins. Tesla, for example, is "just" a car manufacturer for some investors, while others see it as a company with a huge database in the field of autonomous driving, learning algorithms and its own AI chip Dojo, which will go into production in the third quarter of this year.

The big loser could be Google. The company's business model is based on search, and this is precisely where Microsoft's Bing browser will come in to attack the new AI functions. However, experience has shown that Google should not be written off, even if the core of its business model is now at risk of being disrupted by Microsoft.

Companies and AI - a promising partnership

Smaller suppliers can also benefit from the increased use of data by AI and the need for faster processing. The US company IonQ, for example, is a leader in the development of quantum computers. The Danish company Napatech optimises and rationalises routers and network solutions with its smartNICs. According to a formula you occasionally hear about without knowing the exact figures, every dollar invested in hardware generates between four and eight dollars in software revenue.

The following examples show how closely the companies are already intertwined. The US software company UiPath automates and streamlines office solutions, has an established customer base and is proactive in the ChatGPT universe. Adobe has its own image library and, unlike its competitor Midjourney, is less likely to have copyright issues when using images and videos. Unity Software could be one of the winners thanks to Nvidia's hardware developments and the fact that games are better and cheaper to develop thanks to AI.

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