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Disruptive Industries Coalescing Around a Core Technology – Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Industries Coalescing Around AI

Many disruptive technologies are coming to maturity, from electrification to renewables, robotics, and biotech. However, one is special in its potential to overlap with virtually every other disruptive technology.  This is the case with Artificial Intelligence or ‘AI' – which is dubbed a “Core Technology” in the latest ARK Invest Report BIG IDEAS 2024.

The invention and spread of a new core technology is a rare and important event in human history. It also correlates with periods of explosive economic growth, thanks to the progress these technologies unleash.

Previous core technologies included the steam engine, electricity, the internal combustion engine, PCs, and the Internet. Each of these has contributed to a significant rise in GDP growth rate while deployed.

Source: Ark Invest

What Makes A Core Technology?

Looking back at the previous core technologies, a few common features emerge:

  • Wide applicability & business cases: It can be deployed successfully to most of the era’s main economic activities.
  • Boosting productivity: Core technologies are usually related to either energy (steam, ICE engine, electricity), logistics (railroads), or information (Personal Computers, Internet). Improvements in any of these fields allow for improved productivity of the workforce and the economy as a whole.
  • Creating new markets: The increased productivity creates new opportunities and entirely new economic categories.
  • Cascading innovations: The initial technology is quickly improved upon for further productivity gains and opening new applications. The improved productivity frees resources for new innovation in unrelated fields. The synergies between all these new technologies tend to create (for a while) an exponential innovation.
  • Massive societal changes: Because changes in work methods, productivity, and technology are deeply impacting workers and companies, this translates into changes in society at large. From urbanization and industrialization to the rise of the information economy and globalization, each core technology has been instrumental in shaping the modern world.

Why Is AI The Core Technology Of This Era?

2023 was pretty much the year when AI advancements made it to the mainstream consciousness. In large part, this was triggered by the very popular and visible release of generative AI, especially image generation (perfect for viral content and social media visibility) and LLMs (Large Language Model) like ChatGPT’s which have the ability to provide human-like conversational skills.

Source: Ark Invest

The progress in LLMs and the overall abilities of AI systems have dramatically changed the prognostic for the creation of an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) system. Since OpenAI has launched ChatGPT, and other tech companies have launched their own LLMs, the forecast for AGI emergence has shifted from multiple decades to mere years.

Source: Ark Invest

In any case, the acceleration in AI development displays textbook core technology features: cascading innovation, growing productivity, wide applications, and the potential for mass disruption of entire job categories. So, AI's wide influence makes it the core around which all the other innovations will coalesce.

Economic Impact of AI

ARK Invest considers that the merging of AI with emerging technologies could boost global economic growth from the current 3% to 7% yearly for the next 7 years.

This growth would be driven by productivity gains in logistics, energy systems, and manufacturing.

This would make the new disruptive technologies of AI, blockchains, multiomic sequencing, energy storage, and robotics a majority (60%) of the global equity markets compared to their current 16%.

Source: Ark Invest

Industries Most Impacted By AI

While most economic sectors will be impacted by the emergence of AIs, a few equally innovative sectors will especially benefit from it.

Public Blockchains & Finance

Blockchain technology's most famous example is Bitcoin, but it goes far beyond that. By providing an un-falsifiable record, blockchain can provide proof of data authenticity and provenance.

With more and more data, contents, and analyses using or originating from AIs, the question of authenticity will become a global societal discussion.

AIs are also going to help make smart contracts and digital wallets safer, easier to use, and more efficient overall.

Multiomics Sequencing

Starting from genomics, biotech and biosciences are undergoing a “multiomics” revolution (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microbiomes, etc. In parallel, precision therapies (especially gene editing) and synthetic biology are reaching commercial (and regulatory) maturity.

AI is already used for drug discovery and analyzing the flood of data generated by multiomics sequencers. It should, later on, be expanded to detect risks early (like with liquid biopsy – detecting cancer from a blood sample), design custom therapies tailored to a patient genome, and help create biology-based technologies for material sciences and energy production.

Energy Storage & Mobility

Progress in battery systems will be required to reach the next step of renewable energy generation and decarbonization. It will also boost the adoption of EVs thanks to declining costs and increased performance.

AI will be an integral part of the battery design process, thanks to advanced models that are able to “guess” the best material for new battery technology. Something we already explored in our article “Changing the Timeline for Discoveries through the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)”.

Smart grid and automatized handling of energy consumption by smart devices and charging will also optimize the energy grid.

The role of AI in mobility will also expand thanks to autonomous driving. More powerful AI systems will require less data input, reducing the costs of autonomous driving due to expensive equipment like LIDAR systems, replacing them with simple cameras.

AI

As for most core technology in the past, AI progress will strongly manifest upon itself. Previous iterations of AI help design better systems, thanks to a collapse in neural network training costs. ARK Invest expects a 40,000-fold decline in training costs by 2030.

A large part of AI computation is expected to be on the cloud, with dedicated infrastructure being built in the coming years.

Another expanding field for AI is smart devices. From health monitoring watches to smart speakers and augmented reality, AI-powered assistants and augmentations are expected to be increasingly present in all activities all the time.

Robotics & Material Sciences

Progress in machine vision, robotic mobility, and AI converge to take robots out of factories and warehouses and into the real world. Many tasks could become automated, from household chores to deliveries.

AI will benefit from universal broadband internet from low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, made possible thanks to reusable rockets decreasing the cost of reaching space.

Meanwhile, 3D printing can help the distribution of production systems and the on-site maintenance of AI-powered robots. AI will also help in the designing process of 3D models.

Synergies

As discussed above, some of the interactions between AIs and other emergent technologies are to be expected, such as the combination of neural networks and battery technology leading to autonomous EV fleets. However, the history of new core technology proves that forecasts often ignore or miss second-degree effects and more complex synergies.

For example, the combination of progress in robotics, AI, reusable rockets, 3D printing, and material sciences could usher a massive rush to space for mining resource-rich asteroids, creating a sudden abundance of raw resources.

The combination of blockchain ID systems, precision therapies, and generalized multiomics sequencing could completely change our approach to healthcare and insurance, turning toward prevention and gene editing instead of drugs and surgeries.

Or, the combination of neural networks, VR/AR, and LLMs could make the jobs of teaching or translating obsolete.

ARK’s AI Portfolio

For those who believe in the future of AI and its role as a core synergistic technology, consider the following stocks – each of which is a publicly traded company found within ARK's portfolio and primed to benefit from the rise in AI.

1. UiPath

finviz dynamic chart for  PATH

UiPath is a leader in enterprise automation. It offers services integrated together, finding the tasks where automation will have the highest ROI (Return On Investment), designing a way to automate it, and then deploying and monitoring the efficiency of the process.

The company has grown quickly, reaching $1B in Annual Recurring Revenues (ARR), largely thanks to 1,974 Customers with $100k+ ARR.  Of which half came from banking/finance, manufacturing, and government. ARR has grown by 24% CAGR.

Source: UiPath

Thanks to a head start in establishing relations with large companies, UiPath is well-positioned to keep deploying new AIs, boosting productivity.

2. Twilio

finviz dynamic chart for  TWLO

Founded in 2008, Twilio is a cloud communication platform that integrates all communication channels (voice, message, emails, etc.) to improve customer engagement.

Twilio is in a good position to benefit from the rise of LLMs and other AI-powered chatbots and customer services. And it is already actively embracing it with CustomerAI. This system combines LLM with the flow of customer data from Twilio systems, creating a more integrated understanding of the customers.

Source: Twilio

Data has become a precious resource in a world using AI for every task. Twilio's position in customer data management and integration puts it in a good position to become an essential tool in future sales, marketing, and customer relation management.

3. Teladoc Health

finviz dynamic chart for  TDOC

Teladoc's strategy is to create a model of virtual primary care, in opposition to more conservative hybrid care models (mixing in-person and virtual consultations).

The company expects this model to become the main medical care model over time, especially with the rise of monitoring connected devices. Teladoc also bought the chronic care management provider and device maker Livongo to support this strategy in 2020.

It has reached 90+ million members, served by 40,000+ clinicians in 20+ million visits. The company’s activity is roughly split in half between mental health care and telemedicine.

The stock has suffered from the post-pandemic cooldown in telemedicine. However, its virtual healthcare strategy will benefit greatly from improvements in AI-assisted diagnostic tools. It already uses 60 different AI tools for various tasks and medical recommendations.

It should also be able to quickly integrate multiomics data into its digital patient files, helping improve healthcare quality.

In June 2023, Teladoc signed a partnership with Microsoft to develop AI clinical documentation, reducing the administrative tasks required from medical personnel and bringing AI use in healthcare beyond virtual diagnostics by improving doctors' productivity.

Jonathan is a former biochemist researcher who worked in genetic analysis and clinical trials. He is now a stock analyst and finance writer with a focus on innovation, market cycles and geopolitics in his publication 'The Eurasian Century".