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Top stocks for AI enthusiasts

The recent Google I/O event had left us all spellbound; especially the part where a computer made a call to an unsuspecting salon employee and fixed an appointment for its “owner.” Only a few years ago, even the chief executives of tech giants were reluctant to speak out the phrase “artificial intelligence” during conference calls due to the uncertainties revolving around this baby technology.

Today the phrase has turned itself into a success mantra for the Silicon Valley behemoths and a canvas to project takeover potential for numerous start-ups. Last year, out of 120 AI companies that exited the market, 115 did so through acquisitions, according to CB Insights data.

While it’s practically impossible to measure the progress each company is making with respect to AI technology, we have picked up a few stocks that are doing reasonably well in the sphere.

Amazon (AMZN): The world’s richest man has been vocal about the advantages and possibilities of artificial intelligence. So it is obvious that the company that he runs would see the technology applied in every nook and corner of its operations, e.g. warehouse fulfillment, product recommendations, and fraud protection.

The Jeff Bezos-owned company also delivers numerous AI-based services to both consumers and businesses, including indigenous voice servers Alexa and Lex.

artificial intelligence
Image courtesy: Pixabay

Nvidia (NVDA): The chipmaker realized the potential of artificial intelligence even before most investors did. And this head start, especially with the much sought-after graphics processing unit (GPU) is what makes the stock alluring. Though the company turned its complete attention into AI-related products only back in 2016, it had already achieved a pole position by then.

With GPU’s applications spread across a wide spectrum of areas including big data and autonomous driving technology, there are plenty of growth opportunities for this company in 2018 and the years that follow.

Alphabet (GOOGL): If not already evident, the I/O event highlighted Alphabet’s intent to double down on artificial intelligence. The company had been on a merger spree over the past four years, bringing as many as 12 innovative AI start-ups under its wings.

Through these acquisitions and investments, the Google parent is trying to improve its existing products and services for better usability. Growth may not be highly enthusiastic, given the gargantuan size of the company, but the commitment to the technology is pretty evident.

A few of the private AI firms that have a lot of potential include SoundHound, Freenome, CloundMinds, H2O and Iris AI. 

Microsoft (MSFT): With an array of IT-based and consumer-centric AI products, Microsoft is undeniably one of the best AI stocks in the market. While Cortana, which is currently available on smartphones and Windows desktop OS, takes care of the consumer-facing segment, Azure-cloud based AI technology is being applied in numerous fields from robotics to medicine.

Now, we know it’s outrageous to pick four out of around 50 eligible candidates. So here are a few other close contenders that you should probably consider: Twilio (TWLO), Baidu (BIDU), Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC), Salesforce (CRM) and Micron Technologies (MU). A few of the private AI firms that have a lot of potential include SoundHound, Freenome, CloundMinds, H2O and Iris AI.

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