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Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Could Threaten Apps

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Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Could Threaten Apps
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The key takeaways from the AI Frontiers Conference, held on January 11–12, include “the central role that AI/ML [Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning] capabilities are playing within Internet/technology companies, emergence of voice/virtual assistants” and the significant capabilities of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) in these domains, Baird’s Colin Sebastian said in a report.

The AI Frontiers Conference focused on applications of deep learning, analyst Sebastian mentioned.

Google’s AI Capabilities

Presentations by Alphabet highlighted how Google was using neural networks to “innovate and improve products, including Search, Ads, Photos, Translate, Gmail, Maps, Cloud, voice recognition, self-driving cars and robotics, among others.” The teams or projects using deep learning have increased to 4,000, from 200 in early 2014, Sebastian noted.

Could Voice Or Virtual Assistants Threaten Apps?

Presentations by Amazon, Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) focused on conversational interfaces, which have shown rapid adoption through voice, like Alexa, Google Voice and Siri, and bots.

“We believe some of the new ‘assistants’ could eventually make some apps and websites outmoded, an issue we highlighted in our recent ‘Internet Themes’ report,” the analyst wrote. He explained that several apps were underutilized, lacked flexibility or customization, and required downloads, while voice assistants were lighter since they were "live in the cloud."

Smartphone users could access information and answers directly through voice and text responses, without having to browse through links or pages within apps. Amazon indicates that millions of Alexa devices had been sold and that third-party skills were increasing rapidly.

Autonomous Driving

Presentations by Alphabet’s Waymo, Baidu and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) indicated that “a combination of multiple sensors collecting data, machine learning processing real-time data, 3D modeling, and significant computing power are requirements for any legitimate self-driving car project,” Sebastian mentioned. Fully-autonomous cars are expected to be on the roads in two to three years.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) also made presentations during the AI Frontiers Conference.

Baird has Outperform ratings on Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook.

Latest Ratings for GOOGL

DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Jul 2018Bank of AmericaMaintainsBuyBuy
Jul 2018Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperformOutperform

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