Artificial Intelligence on the ASX

By Megan Graham. Published at Sep 13, 2018, in Features

You’ve no doubt heard that data is the ‘new oil’.

Hand in hand with the business world’s focus on data — gathering it, analysing it, buying it, selling it — data is rapidly expanding opportunities in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI is making its mark in the field of large scale data storage, rapid data analysis and interpretation, with real economic benefits.

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecast AI to create between US$3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value per year across 19 industries; from healthcare to retail and beyond.

AI-based companies have been gaining a greater a presence on the ASX in recent years, as well as a growing list of companies adding AI capability to their core business.

Gooroo Ventures (ASX:GOO) considers itself “a global leader in the science of human thinking, transforming the way people, organisations and communities make decisions about the future”.

This is a company that, through its AI capabilities, claims to ‘know how you think’. It uses machine learning and natural language processing to map individuals’ decision-making patterns.

In October last year, GOO lodged a patent application ‘on the process of human thinking’, thereby cementing its ability to sell its unique AI solutions to businesses.

While the stock is down 76% in the two years since it listed on the ASX, it is still early stages for the micro-cap and its revenue was up 488% on the year to 30 June 2018, at A$401,516.

Promisingly, the company signed a 12 month contract with recruitment firm Amrop Carmichael Fisher a few months ago, and in May announced the expansion of its partnership with accounting giant KPMG.

AI software mid-cap LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) has been making a splash via its global software that empowers users to ‘drive their own intelligent workplace experiences’.

Its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) reached $15 million in the last financial year — up from $4 million in the previous year. Its share price isn’t looking bad either, up 200% over the past 12 months:

Live Tiles is kicking goals in the AI space.

The past performance of this product is not and should not be taken as an indication of future performance. Caution should be exercised in assessing past performance. This product, like all other financial products, is subject to market forces and unpredictable events that may adversely affect future performance.

LVT raised A$25 million last month via share placement to sophisticated investors, suggesting there’s quite a bit of interest in what this AI play is offering.

In a nutshell, A$317.4 million capped LVT provides a no- or low-code solution meaning, “businesses are empowered to design user-optimised portals based on Office 365 or Azure technology, and hundreds of available APIs. These portals are created using drag-and-drop functionality and can be enhanced with AI such as LiveTiles Chatbots”.

In May, LVT acquired the Microsoft-aligned Hyperfish, a software solution that helps ‘bring an organisation’s employee directory to life, ensuring directory and profile information is always complete and up-to-date’.

Using AI and bot technology, the software identifies missing or incorrect employee directory information and initiates a conversation with employees to collect and validate data. The records are updated in the Microsoft Azure and Office 365 cloud platforms.

Interestingly, the acquisition was an all stock deal with an earn-out structure that was designed to maintain the strong commitment of the co-founders towards the continued success of Hyperfish.

The company also boasts a joint campaign with Microsoft in North America, strengthening its position in its US target market. LVT are likely hoping that this factor, as well as its unique AI-enabled functionality, will set it apart in what is a fairly crowded market.

Beyond pure AI plays, there are a large number of companies looking to integrate AI tech into their existing products to remain competitive. These companies are adding AI functionality and using it to retain or boost market share.

One such company is ASX-listed Spectur (ASX:SP3), a leading cloud-based security camera provider. Its technology offers 24/7 surveillance with live video that can be accessed in real-time from any internet connected device.

In May, the $11.8 million capped company released news of its new AI ambitions, which saw it peak at $0.06, its highest share price since January.

SP3 plans to integrate AI into its security camera system, due to the latter’s ability to quickly process complex scenarios and with a high degree of accuracy — giving a greater ability for SP3 to set specific triggers for alarms. Further features added by the AI include facial recognition, as well as object and number plate recognition.

Sounds good, although recent share price performance has been somewhat disappointing.

News of a pricing review to increase margins and recurring revenues, along with reports that revenue for the first two months of the September quarter will be over $800,000, up from $275,000 same over the same period last year, gives hope that the stock will soon outperform.

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