Top AI Stocks on the ASX

Interested in AI investing? Here’s is a round up of what AI stocks are, how you can invest and the top stocks currently on the market.

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has been labelled as the part of the fourth industrial revolution, with many industries and countries investing heavily in it.

As the sector continues to mature and expand, investors may want to open their portfolios to some of the top AI stocks currently listed on the ASX.

Read on for a breakdown of what AI stocks are, how you can invest and which are the top AI stocks on the ASX that you may want to consider investing in.


Top AI stocks on the ASX: What is AI and how do you invest?

Artificial intelligence, in its most natural form, can be described as a technological machine that has the capability to act and react in the same manner that human beings do.

Although AI has become more common place in recent years, a report from NVIDIA states that AI's origins stretch back to the post-World War II era. The company states that since that time, the various components of AI have evolved enough over the years in order to support both machine learning and deep learning.

AI is a component of computer science that focuses on machines replicating humans. Although the technology behind artificial intelligence continues to evolve, there are currently four main focus areas that AI has been designed for: speech recognition, learning, planning and problem solving.

While the AI industry in Australia is relatively small, it is on a steady incline and the expansion is a result of increased demand. Recently, it has been reported that spending on AI in Australia reached AU$333 million in 2016, and has been steadily rising by 22 percent per year. By 2025, spending in the AI space is expected to reach around AU$1.98 billion.

Due to the fact that the AI space is in a state of growth and Australia has been embracing these tech stocks more and more every year, now could be the best time to invest in the sector.

Market participants typically research AI companies and then purchase shares that are issued by that company. When you purchase shares of an AI stock, you are essentially purchasing a stake in the company, with the hopes of making positive returns through the company's successes.

For investors who are interested in investing in the AI sector through stocks, it is important to know how to obtain those shares on the market. There are two main ways that an investor can invest in an AI stock. The first way is when market participants purchase through a major AI company, and the other way of trading on the stock market is by investing in an AI stock through junior companies or startups.

Top AI stocks on the ASX: Top 3 AI stocks

Below we've outlined the top three ASX-listed AI stocks with market caps over AU$40 million. Data for this article was gathered using TradingView's stock screener on January 21, 2020.

1. Appen (ASX:APX)

Current Market Cap: AU$3.14 billion

Appen was founded in 1996 and soon after released the company's AI tech, which is predominately used in the technology, automotive, financial services, retail, manufacturing and government sectors.

Human-annotated data is the field in which the company's expertise lies, and this type of technology is used to operate both machine learning and artificial intelligence. Some of the most prevalent forms that Appen's AI technology can take include digital assistance and chat bots. The technology's capabilities include fraud protection systems and sending people recommendations via search engines, such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

According to the company's most recent financial report, Appen's revenue grew by 60 percent to reach AU$245.1 million. Momentum built in speech and image revenue, which shot up 85 percent to AU$39.9 million through organic growth.

2. BrainChip (ASX:BRN)

Current market cap: AU$70.57 million

BrainChip's artificial intelligence technology is heavily influenced by the anatomy of the human brain, in particular the neurons. The result of that influence is spiking neural networks, a kind of neuromorphic computing. The spiking neural network is able to act independently through the knowledge and information it consumes. Additionally, BrainChip's AI has the capability to compartmentalize and assign association of information the same way our brains do.

The company uses this technology system through its two initial divisions, which are the BrainChip Studio and BrainChip Accelerator. This AI technology is primarily used to help various types of law enforcement and intelligence organizations identify faces and objects on video footage at a more rapid speed than more common, and often times older, technology.

Brian Chip's second AI tech endeavour came in the form of the Akida Neuromorphic System-on-Chip (NSoC), which BrainChip referred to as a new type of neuromorphic computing chip. “Each Akida NSoC has effectively 1.2 million neurons and 10 billion synapses, representing 100 times better efficiency than neuromorphic test chips from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and IBM (NYSE:IBM)," BrainChip states on its website.

At the end of 2019, BrainChip revealed that its market cap is on the incline and it possessed a revenue stream of US$9.5 million in cash. Looking forward, the company has begun to evaluate the prospect of opening two innovation centres this year. The first location would be in Western Australia, while the second location would be in Shanghai, China, in order to take advantage of the large and rapidly expanding AI space that can be found in that region.

3. SenSen Networks (ASX:SNS)

Current Market Cap: AU$49.20 million

SenSen's company model involves mixing AI and video technology. The combination of the two technologies resulted in the creation of a platform with video intelligence capabilities.

One of the company's most sought after applications is called SenGAME, which provides real-time intelligence for the gaming industry, used mostly in casinos. This portion of the technology has the ability to improve casinos by rapidly analyzing various elements that take place at each gaming table. The tech can scan the entire casino and determine the amount of individuals at a table, the number of hands being dealt on an hourly basis and the type of bets people are making.

Due to the fact that the video-AI combo can quickly identify and report all of the activity that transpires at each gaming table, SenSen's technology fixes the common problem of dealers, players and chips generally moving too fast for traditional technology.

In the company's latest quarterly report, SenSen noted that it had managed to incur AU$1.33 million in cash receipts, which was up 50 percent from the same time period last year. Additionally, the company revealed that in 2019, it signed its first US customer contract with Chicago Parking Meters, with the promise of delivering its client tech solutions from improving parking space management efficiency throughout the city of Chicago.

In 2020, while still focusing on its home base — the Australian market — SenSen plans to further expand its AI technology solutions in the US.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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