Over the past few years, artificial intelligence platforms are becoming increasingly valuable to companies which usually want to process large amounts of uncooked data into actionable business techniques. Growing demand for these technologies provides persuaded major tech companies in order to either develop or acquire device learning platforms to remain competitive. Let’s focus on four major movers within the space, and how AI platforms squeeze into their long-term growth strategies.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock has fallen 20% over the past six months due to concerns that will demand for iPhones could lastly peak this year. Apple hasn’t exposed a pipeline of new hardware items to replace the iPhone yet, but it remarkably acquired three AI-related companies in the last four months.
In October, Apple acquired VocalQ, the developer of the “self-learning dialogue platform” which can be used to create private assistants which understand natural vocabulary questions and commands. That exact same month, it acquired Perceptio, the start-up which helps companies operate advanced AI systems on mobile phones without sharing a lot of user information. In January, it acquired Emotient, which develops an AI system which can “read” human emotions through facial expressions. That purchase apparently complements Apple’s recent acquisition of Faceshift, which uses motion capture technology to turn real faces into life-like digital models.
It’s unclear when Apple plans to weave these types of new AI services into Proactive, FaceTime, and Apple Music, utilize them to create augmented reality software plus hardware, or integrate them in to long-rumored hardware projects like the electric car. However, investors need to still keep a close eye upon Apple’s growing interest in AI this season to see where the company might be going.
Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) AWS (Amazon Web Services) happens to be the largest cloud as a service system in the world, with an annual run price of $7. 3 billion since last October. Its customers consist of NASA and the CDC, and it supplies a wide range of cloud-based storage and analytics services.
Last year, Amazon additional an AI platform called Amazon ML (Machine Learning) to AWS. The platform gathers data through services like S3 online storage space, Redshift data warehousing, and its Relationship Database Service to “predict” long term business trends for customers. For illustration, Amazon ML can predict exactly how gender, income, and professions influence purchases of certain products in a retailer. These predictions can be used to form future sales strategies. Amazon offers these analyses in batches for a price of $0. 10 per one, 000 predictions. With the growth of the Internet of Things throughout connected homes, cars, and wearables, requests for Amazon ML’s forecasts will likely rise.
Last quarter, AWS revenues rose 78% annually plus accounted for 8% of Amazon’s best line on a constant currency schedule. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Novak believes that percentage could greater than double to 17% this financial year as demand for AWS services soars. However, Amazon nevertheless faces stiff competition in this marketplace — IBM’s Bluemix/Watson and Microsoft’s Azure ML are still winning more than plenty of enterprise customers.
Facebook plus Alphabet
Last but not least, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google are expanding into the AI market to improve their search and image acknowledgement abilities. By understanding what their own respective social network and search customers are looking for, tagging, or uploading, each Internet giants hope to craft much better targeted ads for their advertisers.
Facebook has established a dedicated division, FAIR (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research), to speed up the development of its facial, image, plus speech recognition capabilities. Late this past year, the unit unveiled a prototype edition of M, a Siri-like private assistant which formulates responses depending on human-provided data across the social network.
Meanwhile, Google acquired four AI businesses over the past year to beef up the machine learning capabilities. It furthermore launched Photos, a stand-alone services with unlimited storage which can “intelligently” categorize photos by people, items, locations, and dates. On the particular hardware side, Google acquired army robot manufacturer Boston Dynamics at the end of 2013, and is currently testing driverless cars. Many of these machine learning and robotics technologies can further converge throughout 2016.
Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics robots. Source: Company website.
The bottom line
Artificial intelligence platforms haven’t evolved to the sentient machines which are often seen in the films, but their ability to process data in to predictions, track human behavior, plus “understand” images and sounds will be impressive. Tech investors who are thinking about this field should track Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet throughout every season to better understand where this recently established market is headed next.