Technological advancement is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. This year, we will begin to see the early deployment of 5G wireless communication, which will soon enable a host of new technologies previously thought of as the stuff of science fiction. From driverless cars to remote surgery, industries from across the spectrum of business, healthcare, manufacturing, transport, tourism, and many more will never be the same again .
One nascent industry that is set to benefit the most from the arrival of 5G is the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. Leading AI textbooks define the field as the study of “intelligent agents,” or any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Essentially, it’s the process by which a machine can asses a problem and present a solution without the need for human intervention.
AI will be pivotal to building the backbone of all the far-out technologies that many of us hope to see with the arrival of 5G, such as communicating to driverless cars the latest traffic situation and planning a route accordingly.
The potential for investing in AI stocks in unbridled, with analysts predicting the AI market to be worth an eye-watering US$15.7 trillion by 2030. Many are concerned that AI will be to the detriment of the human workforce, and while it is on track to eliminate 1.8 million US jobs next year, it will also create 2.3 million, producing a net job gain, according to research firm Gartner. Over the next few years, AI will transform industries across the board, but let’s take a look at two small-cap firms quietly laying the early foundations for this game-changing technology.
CEVA Inc (NASDAQ:CEVA)
CEVA is a California-based manufacturer of semiconductor intellectual property core technologies for multimedia and wireless communications technology. Specifically, the AI stock manufactures smart sensing technology, AI processors, and wireless platforms for semiconductor firms and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that serve the mobile, consumer, automotive, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets, all of which are set for radical advancements with the advent of 5G.
The company has a whole host of technologies in development or already on the market across the numerous applications of 5G. In the area of artificial intelligence, we offer a family of AI processors capable of handling the complete scope of neural network workloads, on-device. In 2019, 10 billion CEVA-powered devices were shipped worldwide, leading to strong financial results for the company throughout the year. CEVA will post its Q4 earnings next week, with analysts expecting revenue to jump 15% to US$24.48 million.
Quisitive Technology Solutions Inc (TSXV:QUIS)
Quisitive is a digital technology consulting firm that provides organizations with Microsoft Cloud solutions, as well as proprietary software as a service (SaaS) solutions and cloud data services. Specifically, the company helps its clients harness the power of the Microsoft cloud and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IOT, and blockchain through customized solutions. The Toronto-based firm is one of just 35 companies to have earned the “National Solution Provider” designation from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Quisitive’s goal is to become the number one Microsoft Solutions provider, and it is planning to do this through acquisitions and organic scaling. On January 1, the firm announced that it had closed its acquisition of Menlo Technologies, a provider of Microsoft technology, corporate consulting, and business software and systems.
The AI stock has been on an impressive run in recent months and is currently trading at five times its valuation in November after generating US$300 million in revenue for Microsoft Azure, with 125 assessments in 2019, which is pretty impressive for a company with a market cap of just under US$50 million. Long-term, Quisitive wants to become large enough to handle multi-million-dollar Microsoft projects, yet small enough to maintain the agility needed to develop innovative solutions utilizing all the tools in the Microsoft Azure stack—including blockchain, AI, and IoT.
Have any other AI stocks caught your eye ahead of a possible 5G gold rush? Let us know!
Featured image: DepositPhotos © abidal