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Interested in AI investing? Here’s a look at what AI stocks are, how to invest and the top stocks by market cap right now.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to evolve and advance rapidly, becoming increasingly integrated in the automation of our everyday lives.

AI is also becoming a major focus for the Australian government, whose budget for the 2021/2022 financial year outlines a plan to invest AU$124.1 million into AI development and adoption. Globally, research firm PwC estimates in a 2017 report that AI will provide a boost of 14 percent, or US$15.7 trillion, to gross domestic product by 2030.

Although the AI market is relatively small in Australia, it’s growing, with a number of ASX-listed companies including AI in their business activities. To help investors understand the options available in this burgeoning market, the Investing News Network used TradingView's stock screener to find the top AI stocks on the ASX by market cap.

All numbers and company information were current as of December 24, 2021.

1. Appen

Current market cap: AU$1.32 billion

Appen (ASX:APX) continues to be a market leader in providing data for developing AI products and machine learning. The company has had a tumultuous ride since first listing in 2015; its share price peaked at nearly AU$45 in mid-2020 only to slowly decline since then. A new restructuring looks promising as Appen hones its focus on four key markets: China, enterprise, global and government.

As of August 2021, Appen had shuffled its board with the appointment of Richard Freudenstein as an independent non-executive director. The company will release its results for the 2021 financial year in February 2022.

2. BrainChip Holdings

Current market cap: AU$1.12 billion

BrainChip Holdings (ASX:BRN) is involved in neuromorphic computing, which is essentially a type of AI that simulates the functionality of the human neuron. As a global technology company, Brainchip is working to revolutionise edge AI applications, which combine edge computing with AI.

In November 2021, BrainChip appointed Sean Hehir as its new CEO. Since hitting a year-to-date low of AU$0.36 in October 2021, its share price has steadily risen to sit at AU$0.66 at the time of publication.

3. Dubber

Current market cap: AU$831.92 million

Dubber (ASX:DUB) aims to transform voice recording with AI voice analysis services for the telephone. The company provides cloud-based call recording services for corporate conglomerates and has the goal of becoming the voice assistant for some of the world’s largest businesses in banking and telecommunications.

In September 2021, the Melbourne-based company raised AU$110 million to acquire Notiv, a voice transcription company. COVID-19 has presented the company with growing demand from customers and a scalable growth opportunity, and in its latest quarterly activities briefing, Dubber reported more than 450,000 subscribers.

4. Bigtincan Holdings

Market cap: AU$541.54 million

Bigtincan Holdings (ASX:BTH) is a B2B software-as-a-service company specializing in sales enablement automation. Its approach involves intelligent automation software, which it describes as a mix of AI and machine learning.

In June 2021, the company announced plans to acquire augmented reality company Vidinoti for AU$700,000. The move will enable Bigtincan customers to create augmented experiences for their products without relying on third parties. In August 2021, the company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BrainShark, another sales enablement company, with the goal of creating "the most complete Sales Enablement Platform in the market."

5. LiveTiles

Market cap: AU$79.92 million

LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) works to make an intelligent workplace using machine learning and AI. The company caters to the education, commercial and government sectors by giving developers and business users the ability to create intranets, employee portals and dashboards. One of its goals is to increase staff engagement — something that has become more important due to the global pandemic and remote working.

LiveTiles has suffered from a low share price, but has seen its annualised recurring revenues increase. It netted some high-profile clients in 2021, including a reported AU$2.1 million deal with Nestle (OTC Pink:NSRGF,SWX:NESN) and a AU$3 million deal with American healthcare company UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).

Although LiveTiles is now headquartered in New York, CEO Karl Redenbach has said there are no current plans for a US listing; he feels the overall valuation of the company is significantly lower than it should be.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing NewsNetwork in 2020.

Don’t forget to follow us @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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Transitioning From Explorer to Developer in Western Australia

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Revenue from Australia's mobile sector is expected to grow from AU$9.6 billion in 2021 to AU$11.2 billion in 2026. Here's what to know about this industry.

After lagging behind for a prolonged period, Australia's tech sector is ramping up at an accelerated pace. The tech sector is now equivalent to 8.5 percent of the country's GDP as of the end of 2021, an increase of 26 percent since the onset of COVID-19 through June 2021 and a massive 79 percent increase over the past five years. Tech contributes AU$167 billion to the Australian economy, trailing only the mining (AU$205 billion) and financial/insurance (AU$169 billion) sectors.

Australia's characteristically resilient economy — which had not experienced a recession in nearly 30 years prior to COVID-19 lockdowns — has provided a sturdy backdrop for its growing tech sector. The growth in the tech sector’s contribution to the GDP has outpaced average growth of other industries by more than 400 percent, a gain partly attributable to accelerated digital technology adoption during the pandemic.

This dramatic expansion is largely in response to Australia's need to catch up to the rest of the world and assert itself in the global tech marketplace. Should the tech sector continue to grow at its current rate it will eventually surpass the relative GDP contribution of the long dominant mining sector. This will also complete the process of bringing Australia more in line with other western economies such as the UK, and notably Canada, which is comparable to Australia in terms of its dominant mining and agricultural industries.

In terms of digital innovation earnings as a percentage of GDP, for example. Australia stands at 7.4 percent, significantly behind the 11.2 percent average for companies that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to its September 2021 Policy Primer report, the Australian Academy of Sciences called for the federal government to place greater emphasis on supporting emerging digital technologies.

"Australia risks falling behind as a technologically-driven nation unless we recognise emerging digital technologies as a central, independent sector in its own right, warranting investment in the core aspects of research, innovation, and workforce development," the report stated.

Understanding Australia's mobile tech landscape

One of the drivers of Australia's tech sector expansion is its booming mobile telephone industry. This expansion has taken many forms ranging from expanded use of mobile telephony, adoption of blockchain technology for supply chain management and the rise of the cryptocurrency market. The application of mobile tech to the banking industry is just one space where mobile usage has become key and is expected to continue developing. According to research firm KPMG, digital platforms will become the preferred and dominant business model form.

Chase Bank completed a survey revealing that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of mobile banking technology. Banking apps allow users to deposit cheques, pay bills and perform transfers from their mobile device.

One critical side effect of COVID-19 has been the way lockdowns and related restrictions on behaviour has changed the way people live and work. Remote working conditions and enforced isolation has triggered increased demand for improved connectivity and internet speeds to facilitate this transition in corporate culture during the pandemic.

As a result, Australia's leading mobile telephony giants have been obliged to improve data capacity and speed, especially in regional areas that have badly lagged behind urban coverage. Some people have relocated to regional areas — where connectivity remains a challenge — and others are requiring more data capacity and fast speeds to allow them to work more efficiently from home.

The Australian mobile sector is dominated by three main players: Telstra (ASX:TLS), Optus — a subsidiary of Singapore-based Singtel (SGX:Z74) — and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG). Telstra is the largest provider of mobile services with 48.7 percent market share followed by Optus at 26.3 percent.

In 2022, there have already been several major new developments in the Australian mobile sector. One such event has been the tentative network sharing agreement announced in February between Telstra and TPG Telecom, which brings an end to the bitter rivalry between the two competitors. The agreement provides a comprehensive framework for the two telecom giants to share mobile telecommunication infrastructure across Australia.

TPG and Telstra will both enjoy significant savings and benefits from this arrangement. Telstra will reap up to AU$1.8 billion in added revenues while gaining access to TPG's spectrum that expands Telstra's fixed wireless services in regional areas. Correspondingly, TPG gains access to 3,700 Telstra towers in regional areas; this means TPG does not have to spend significant money to duplicate the infrastructure for its own use.

In addition, Telstra announced earlier in the year that it will spend up to AU$1.6 billion on new infrastructure intended to improve connectivity and internet speeds as part of its response to the overall need to accommodate rising consumer demand in the wake of the pandemic.

What's the outlook for mobile tech in Australia?

One of the positive side effects of the pandemic has been the increasing adoption of wireless services by Australians and the ownership of internet-of-things devices that are prevalent in nearly all households.

According to GlobalData, a data and analytics company, mobile sector revenue in Australia is expected to grow from AU$9.6 billion in 2021 to AU$11.2 billion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent. This revenue growth will mainly accrue from growth in the mobile data subsector.

Meanwhile, the three leading telephone companies will not only be expanding their 4G services but rolling out 5G networks across the country. 5G allows for improved and additional smartphone services and also enhances fixed wireless services that are competitive with higher speed National Broadband Network (NBN) connections.

In addition, low earth orbit satellite services are beginning to roll out in Australia led by Elon Musk's SpaceX's Starlink service that offers broadband connections delivered via its satellite network.

Overfall, the winding down of restrictions due to COVID-19 will likely see the big three companies enjoy higher revenues in 2022 after declines in earnings owing to the pandemic. Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom all experienced significant earnings drops between 2020 and 2021 due to reduced international roaming fees, softening demand for headsets and ongoing adoption of NBN services.

But the outlook for 2022 is positive given overall improved economic prospects as Australia emerges from the pandemic, which actually increased overall consumer use of communication services in 2021.

Lockdowns resulted in increased consumer uptake of online services such as online shopping, data-intensive video streaming and the additional household usage of communication services. Indeed, in 2021, data traffic reached record highs as Australian consumers demanded improved internet speeds and unlimited data plans. Remote work will likely continue to remain elevated in 2022 and beyond, which should reinforce increased consumption of home communications services.

Telstar and TPG Telecom in particular are embarking on long term strategies that will drive future earnings growth via accelerating 5G adoption, expansion in dark fibre, and increased adoption of new services such as edge/cloud computing.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Harold Von Kursk, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

General Manager Matt Herbert described Ontario as an “undiscovered gem,” and spoke about the company’s work on its lithium projects in the province.

After making its ASX debut this past November, Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1) has been hard at work in Ontario, Canada, where it holds three projects covering 35,000 hectares.

Speaking to the Investing News Network at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, General Manager Matt Herbert described the province as an “undiscovered gem” with the potential to contribute to the lithium supply chain in an environmentally conscious manner.

“I think the opportunity there is to create some very, very green lithium,” he said.

“At the moment, a lot of lithium is mined in Western Australia, (then) shipped to China for processing; from China it goes to European battery markets. I think by the time that lithium arrives where it’s supposed to arrive it’s left itself a bit of a carbon footprint,” Herbert explained during the conversation. “We have a real opportunity here to leverage low-carbon lithium in a place that is really screaming for security.”

Green Technology Metals has already seen support from members of the Ontario government, including recently re-elected Premier Doug Ford, and Greg Rickford, who is the province’s minister of northern development, mines, natural resources and forestry, as well as its minister of indigenous affairs.

“Both are massive supporters of critical minerals,” said Herbert. “Those things are important when you’re at the permitting and approval stage, and that’s exactly where we’re at. We’re able to leverage those relationships really well, and there’s just no better place to be at the moment.”

Watch the interview above for more from Herbert on Green Technology Metals and its plans for the next six months. You can also click here for our recap of PDAC, and here for our full PDAC playlist on YouTube.

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

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

Editorial Disclosure: Green Technology Metals is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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