The AI revolution – An introductory guide from a UK stock market perspective

18 Jul 2023 / Insight

By Richard Jeans

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Executive summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving at a phenomenal pace, with companies seeking to be ahead of the curve, and its impacts will ultimately spread across the broader economy. In this note, we take a look at the topic from a UK stock market perspective.

AI is not new, with its history traceable back to the 1950s. However, the AI phenomenon took off in late 2022, following the commercial launch of ChatGPT. The emergence of ChatGPT was a result of the combination of large language models (LLMs) with the enormous computing power offered by the burgeoning cloud computing providers, supported by a new generation of powerful computer chips. These new, generative AI solutions enable users to perform a broad range of tasks, including complex problem-solving, writing computer code, or generating/analysing text-based content, at enormously superior levels of productivity.

Most of the hype, to date, has focused on the US Big Tech players, including NVIDIA (which provides the powerful graphics processing units, or GPUs, used by the data centres to process data), the big cloud providers (that provide the computing power to analyse/train large data sets), and the generative AI front runners, several of which are linked to the Big Tech players.

In this note, we have identified a selection of UK technology companies that have already established AI operations, which, we believe, are significant to their investment cases. Also, we examine which UK-listed companies may be best prepared to benefit from the AI revolution.

We believe that investors should raise their awareness and understanding of AI, as it could well be a primary source of growth in global stock markets for the foreseeable future. However, as with all rapidly developing industries, there are uncertainties and, potentially, substantial risks. Consequently, while this report seeks to identify a number of relevant companies, many of which are still very small, it should not, in any respect, be interpreted as offering investment advice.