• The Seville Reporters

Companies to Invest in for A.I. / M.L. Profits



In 2017 we could not get away from the conversation around artificial intelligence. Is it good, is it bad, will it take our jobs, or will it help solve the world's problems? There are conflicting answers for all of the questions posed, but the reality of artificial intelligence and machine learning is that it is here. The technology that seemed far, far away is here. Our apps, software, smart phones, cameras, cars, and smart speakers, are no longer just reacting, they are learning our behavior and adapting to the way we use them.

We attempted to explore who has the inside track on artificial intelligence. We looked for a company or companies who we felt would really move the development of AI/ML forward. A company that would also be able to use their AI/ML developments to increase revenue or decrease expenses. We needed to know outside of the phone assistants and speakers where do companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel and a host of others stand in the world of artificial intelligence.

Here is a list of 17 companies that we took a look at regarding their involvement with AI/ML technology. These aren't comprehensive break downs of these companies, just a peak into their windows. You can find out more about what these companies are doing with AI/ML at their websites.

1. Apple (AAPL): Apple has been one of the world's favorite consumer brands for over a decade. Apple acquired Regaind, a company whose technology can figure out the content of a photo and the photo's technical and aesthetic value using A.I. Apple's neural engine in the A11 chip is tuned to accelerate certain artificial intelligence software. Apple has been rumored to be working on self-driving technology then not to be working on self driving technology, so there is no telling where the company is with that venture or if they are even pursuing that venture. It appears that whatever AI developed by Apple will be used to better the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and the user experience for Apple product users. That should result in continued sales of Apple products.


Source: Amazon AWS

2. Amazon (AMZN): Comprehend, SageMaker, Rekognition, Translate, Transcribe, Lex, are all machine learning products offered by Amazon to its Amazon Web Services clients. Sagemaker for example allows developers and data scientist to build, train, and deploy ML models at any scale. Comprehend uses ML to find insights and relationships in text. Amazon is using it's AI/ML platform to gain new customers for it's AWS service, which has become a big part of Amazon's business.


Source: Baidu

3. Baidu (BIDU): Baidu who is seen as the Google of China is all in on artificial intelligence. Baidu's Apollo, which is described as the Android of the autonomous driving industry is a way for the company to partner with other companies interested in developing autonomous driving technology. Some of Baidu's partners in Apollo include Chinese auto companies Chery, Changan and Great Wall Motors, as well as Bosch, Continental, Nvidia, Microsoft Cloud, Velodyne, TomTom, UCAR and Grab Taxi.

4. Broadcom (AVGO): Broadcomm's $130 billion bid for Qualcomm is seen by many as a $130 billion buy in to the artificial intelligence conversation. See Qualcomm below.

5. Facebook (FB): Facebook made news when it announced it had discovered two artificially intelligent programs talking to each other in their own language. The company didn't release what the programs we're talking about (Skynet theorist insert comment here). Facebook has committed to AI by opening three AI labs around the world. It has also used the acquisition route to acquire AI technology. Facebook acquired Ozlo, with the plan that Ozlo's AI tech can make messenger smarter with a virtual assistant. Other AI firms acquired by Facebook are Masquerade Technologies, Zurich Eye, Fayteq AG, and FacioMetrics. Facebook has already implemented AI to it's platform to enhance the user experience on the platform. With what they've committed to AI so far I expect there is more to come from Facebook.

6. General Electric (GE): Anyone paying attention to the equity markets or business news knows G.E. has a lot of problems to deal with, but that hasn't stop the company from understanding the importance of AI/ML technology. Late last year G.E., specifically G.E. Healthcare announced a partnership with Nvidia to bring artificial intelligence to it's 500,000 image devices. In 2011 G.E. acquired the company Smart Signal to provide supervised learning models for remote diagnostics and in 2016 G.E. acquired Wise.io for the firms unsupervised deep learning capabilities.


Source: Google

7. Google (GOOGL): Google is our top bet to win the artificial intelligence / machine learning race. Waymo, Google's autonomous car initiative appears to be close to a fully autonomous vehicle. In late 2017 Waymo started sending out it's autonomous vehicles without the safety driver. Analyst beleive that Waymo is close to bringing a commercial product to market. Then there is DeepMind, the London based AI company Google acquired in 2014 and the creator of AlphaGo. DeepMind has signed partnerships with hospitals to allow their AI technology to assist medical professionals. The rave reviews received by Google's Pixel 2 phone was partly due to the AI/ML camera management system, which allows the phone to take amazing photos. There is also Tensor Flow, developed by the Google Brain Team. Here is an interesting read on how machine learning helped a cucumber farmer. There is a lot going on at Google to be excited about when it comes to AI/ML.

8. Intel (INTC): Intel and Mobileye's EyeQ4 system is now in over 2 million vehicles. EyeQ4 is the company's mapping solution for its autonomous vehicle initiative. The technology can be found in BMW, VW, Nissan and other vehicles. Intel says that it has Level 2+ and Level 3 design contracts in place with 11 carmakers so far.

9. Micron (MU): Micron Technology might not be a name you think of when it comes to artificial intelligence, but they have been a big part of AI development. Micron has found its place in the AI race by providing memory chips needed for AI development. Nvidia, who is involved in the development of the microchips for autonomous vehicles and AI/ML tech for G.E. has been using Micron's memory chips.


Source: iFlyTek

10. iFlyTek: iFlyTek is a Chinese AI company that applies deep learning to speech recognition, natural-language processing, machine translation, and data mining. iFlyTek has its AI technology in cell phones, driver assistants, and in hospitals. According this MIT Technology Review, over 500 million people in China are talking to iFlyTek technology.

11. Microsoft (MSFT): It would be hard to imagine the software king of the '90s not getting involved in artificial intelligence. The company has more than just Cortana going on. It has a platform for companies to build their own AI. Microsoft's AI computer recently made news when it posted a slightly better score than a human on a reading comprehension test. The company is already applying AI technology to its products, you can find a list of products for consumers and businesses here.

12. Nvidia (NVDA): Nvidia is another one of the companies that is getting into the self driving car business. Nvidia was picked by Uber to provide an AI computing system for its fleet of self driving vehicles. Nvidia's Deep Learning AI is being applied across many industries. Known for their high-end graphic processing units used heavily in PC gaming, Nvidia's commitment to AI could really pay off for the company in the future.


Source: Nvidia

13. NXP Semiconductors (NXPI): NXP is the largest global automotive semiconductor supplier. They have recently joined Baidu's Apollo program, where it will offer semiconductor products and solutions.

14. Qualcomm (QLCM): According to Qualcomm's Senior Vice President of Product Management Keith Kressin "Qualcomm has been conducting fundamental research in A.I. for over a decade." He also states that many of the devices shipping today using Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile platform already utilizes on-device AI. The company developed its own reference designs for computer vision based depth sensing in phones equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile processors. Qualcomm was recently given permission by the state of California to test a self driving car. Qualcomm will be using its 9150 C-V2X chipset in the car it test. The company also notes AR & VR as development areas they are working on.

15. Salesforce (CRM): Salesforce put it's Einstein AI technology to work in 2016. The Einstein AI uses machine learning to forecast sales, pick out the most important emails of a staffers inbox, and suggest a response. The Saleforce website describes Einstein as "a layer of artificial intelligence that delivers predictions and recommendations based on your unique business processes and customer data."


Source: SenseTime

16. SenseTime: SenseTime is China's largest artificial intelligence company. Valued at over $1.5 billion SenseTime has found commercial success in the fields of finance, mobile internet, smart phones, and security. SenseTime has partnered with companies like Qualcomm, NVIDIA, China Mobile, UnionPay, Huawei, Xiaomi. SenseTime recently received an undisclosed investment from Qualcomm.

17. Twitter: Twitter has applied deep learning technology to it's platform in an effort to recommend certain tweets to a user. In 2016 Twitter acquired London based AI firm Magic Pony. Magic Pony's neural networks and machine learning are able to provide expanded data for images. Twitter also acquired AI startup firms Whetlab and Madbits.

These aren't the only 17 companies working on AI/ML technology, just the ones we've isolated so far for a possible investment. From our list we learned that companies aren't going it alone on AI/ML, there is a lot of collaboration going on between companies that many would consider to be rivals. A company like Nvidia comes to mind as it has partnerships with four of the companies on this list. We also learned bigger companies are sparing no effort when it comes to AI/ML development and acquisition. The number of acquisitions of small firms that specialize in AI/ML should continue into the future. AI/ML represents a market with massive potential, companies who are on the fence about AI/ML will be left behind by those who are already adapting the technology in what they do.

Do you know of an AI/ML investment play that didn't make this list? Let us know here.

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