There might not be a single technology that exists today that has as much potential to transform businesses and the world like artificial intelligence. It’s already making autonomous vehicles a reality and helping researchers sift through data and find new cures for diseases — and by 2030 it could add $15.7 trillion to the global economy.


SwissCognitiveThat’s why it’s important for investors to keep track of which companies are making the biggest moves in this space. To help you nail down a few top artificial intelligence stocks, we reached out to a few Motley Fool contributors for their top picks right now. Here’s why Alphabet ( NASDAQ:GOOG ) ( NASDAQ:GOOGL ), CalAmp ( NASDAQ:CAMP ), and Microsoft ( NASDAQ:MSFT ) topped their lists. Image source: Getty Images. I, for one, welcome our new overlords

Anders Bylund (Alphabet): You know Alphabet as the parent company of Google. In turn, Google is an online search engine tied to a market-leading advertising platform. These operations accounted for a staggering 99.5% of Alphabet’s total sales in the last three quarters. That elevator pitch really won’t cover what Alphabet does for much longer.

Operations we see as silly little hobbies today are about to reshape Alphabet’s entire business model. I’m talking about self-driving cars under the Waymo brand, smart thermostats and fire alarms from the Nest name, and a zillion other projects not directly linked to Google’s search and advertising business.

The one thing these stealth fighters are bringing on their flight way under the market’s radar is artificial intelligence. Projects like Nest and Waymo lean directly on Alphabet’s AI research. Other ideas use AI in less obvious ways. For example, I expect the medical research business known as Calico to use Alphabet’s best data-analysis tools in its daring quest to end human aging.

At the heart of Alphabet’s artificial intelligence efforts stands the DeepMind platform. That’s a mighty powerful ally. How powerful? Well, let me give you an example.

Computers have been beating the best humans at chess for many years now. The crown among digital chess programs used to belong to Stockfish, an open-source platform that was built around human chess theory as a hyper-accelerated version of our existing understanding of that ancient game. In December of 2017, Alphabet gave a DeepMind-powered system nothing but the rules of the game and some time to figure out the tactics and strategy on its own.

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The DeepMind system, AlphaZero, was given nine hours to master chess. Then it crushed Stockfish’s best efforts with 28 wins and no losses in a 100-game match. Experts estimate that it took about four hours of solo practice to equal Stockfish’s playing strength.[…]

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