Consider that in 2002, i-Robot released the Roomba, an autonomous robot vacuum that cleans while avoiding obstacles. While that might have seemed like a miracle back then, it’s pretty standard today— selling for under $300 at a variety of major retailers. 

But, while in the near and far past many thought that artificial intelligence (AI) would present itself as robots, today it’s really more about smart computer programs and capabilities that are taking hold across industries. 


“AI is happening whether we like it or not. It’s a reality. And we can either lay victim to it, or we can invest in it,” according to Howard Brown, CEO of Ring DNA, in an interview with Yahoo Finance

According to Brown, AI is less about robots and more about “what we can do to augment the human experience.”

Today companies across industries are focused on improving their digital operations. According to a recent survey of CIOs from large enterprises around the world, “89% of CIOs said their digital transformation has accelerated in the past 12 months, and 58% said this will speed up in the next year.”

Still, there is a lot of room for AI implementation. According to the same survey, “70% of CIOs said their teams spend too much time doing manual tasks that could be automated, yet only 19% of all repeatable IT processes have been automated.”

Artificial intelligence is showing up everywhere from online chat bots to your local fast-food drive thru. Here’s what investors should know before they miss out. 

What is artificial intelligence? 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a “wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.” 

AI is remarkable because it involves machine learning and deep learning. Machine learning essentially programs a machine to learn through a variety of algorithms. The more involved deep learning feeds data into an Artificial Neural Network (ANN), or “a very compute intensive network of mathematical functions joined together in a format inspired by the neural networks found in the human brain.”

The learning function of AI means that it has a “self-improving nature,” can reduce expenses and offer a predictive advantage; all of which is lending to an increase in the adoption of AI in a myriad of ways. 

While robots can be programmed to learn, so can applications that identify and prevent fraud, personalize shopping, improve medical diagnosis and treatment, predict transportation issues, and much more. 

Why invest in artificial intelligence?

From the advent of self-driving cars to spam filtering to smart voice assistants to detecting water leaks, artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly common, whether we choose to notice it or not.

AI’s power to improve industry processes is driving change in the ways companies do business across industries. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers in its 2018 report Smart Money: AI Transitions From Fad to Future of Institutional Investing, “…from back office procedures to front office decisions, AI is becoming the preferred tool for gaining a competitive edge.”

Market leaders in AI include Alphabet (the umbrella company for all Google products which includes the Google search engine), Tesla and NVIDIA. Tesla collects data from its on-road autopilot vehicles to advance deep learning and hone outcomes in edge cases. In addition, Tesla is designing its own AI chips. NVIDIA sells about 80% of all GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, a product used for deep learning.

In Japan the government is investing in an AI powered matchmaking program to help change the trajectory of plummeting birth rates. 

The list goes on and it’s growing by the day. 

So, it’s no surprise that markets are anticipating that AI is expected to cause major disruptions in industries including healthcare, customer service and experience, banking, financial services, insurance, logistics, retail, cybersecurity, transportation, marketing, defense, and lifestyle by 2030. 

In the lending industry alone AI is enabling faster loan assessment, quicker response to fraud, reduced costs and time associated with executing strategies and financial reports, improved advisory services, streamlined client access, optimized trading strategies, and increased efficiency overall. 

As AI is increasingly adopted in the most innocuous and transformative ways, there is broad opportunity. 

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