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While Google parent Alphabet posted positive earnings results which sent the stock soaring higher, both Facebook and Netflix have suffered. Facebook’s scandals finally caught up with the stock and it crashed nearly -19%. For Netflix, the company added fewer new subscribers than anticipated, sinking the stock.
But with all this attention on some of the biggest names in the tech space, one tech sector is growing rapidly and should be on your radar.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is certainly buzzy. And it deserves the hype.
AI is the future, and is a market that could grow $50 to $100 billion in the next three years, according to Ted Jenkin, CEO of oXYGen Financial.
For one example of the growth so far in the AI sector, Jenkin pointed to cashier-less checkout.
“Think about this 10 years ago,” Jenkin said. “You had no self-checkout. Now you have self-checkout that will lead to no checkout, and that’s part of artificial intelligence.”
One way to play the AI mega trend is to buy into mega-cap tech companies. Google was ahead of the curve on the AI trend when it acquired AI start-up DeepMind in 2014, a move that proved the value of AI through autocompleted searches and immediate answers. There’s also IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) iconic Watson AI engine.
But while the real-world benefits of AI seem somewhat limited in scope now, in the future, AI will have far-reaching implications and will be fully integrated into our daily lives which will amount to billions of dollars in profits.
And the companies at the forefront of the AI movement stand to see incredible gains. These are the two AI stocks I have my eye on now.
Yext (NYSE: YEXT)
Yext (NYSE: YEXT) is one of the most promising stocks in the AI space.
It’s a hyper-growth company with the stock up 94% year-to-date, and up nearly 26% for the month.
The company provides solutions to enable enterprises to manage digital information in real time. For Yext, the rise of AI is a huge tailwind, and as the technology matures over the next several years, the company’s growth should remain robust.
Today, Yext announced a partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) where its Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) platform will be integrated directly into the retail giant’s incredibly popular virtual assistant, Alexa.
“Today is a quantum leap forward in Yext’s mission to give businesses control over their digital knowledge and provide consumers with perfect information everywhere,” said Yext founder and CEO Howard Lerman in a statement. “Amazon has changed the world with its innovative, market-leading voice-enabled devices; the Amazon Echo family of smart speakers; and the Alexa voice service. Now the tens of millions of consumers who ask Alexa questions can get authoritative answers from a business itself with the Yext Knowledge Engine.”
The DKM platform enables businesses to manage their listings over more than 100 digital services, including search engines, online directories, social networks, apps, virtual assistants, and then some, making is easier for consumers to access accurate and current information about a business. With the Amazon integration with Alexa, users will soon be able to ask the virtual assistant for details about businesses and Alexa will deliver accurate responses.
Partnering with Amazon is a massive win for Yext and will dramatically extend the reach of its DKM platform. The partnership will strengthen Yext’s value proposition with its enterprise customers who could move up to the company’s pricier plans in order to be listed on more sites and services – thus the Alexa integration will enhance Yext’s pricing power.
Yext also counts Taco Bell, Arby’s, Marriott, and Rite Aid among its clients. It also feeds up-to-date photos, phone numbers, and other information to digital platforms like Uber, Yelp, WeChat, and TripAdvisor, as well as navigation systems, social networks, apps, and more.
Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU)
The company looks poised to emerge as a global leader in AI over the next few years.
AI is at the core of everything Baidu does. At present, the biggest application of AI technology at the company is through enhancing its digital ads business.
Its AI technology enables Baidu to serve up more personalized search feeds, enhance monetization tools, eliminate clickbait, and deliver highly targeted and personalized ads which in turn deliver higher click-through and conversion rates.
But Baidu is far more than just search services and digital ads. The company’s Apollo is one of the world’s leading self-driving platforms, and its DuerOS is the leading smart speaker system in China.
Baidu is the dominant player in the AI space in China. And thanks to its robust database built by billions of digital searches, the company is poised to continue to be the AI leader in China for the next decade.