Let’s talk about AI — not the sci-fi kind, but the real-deal artificial intelligence that’s powering some of the most exciting companies in the stock market today.
In this listicle, I’ll highlight a mix of familiar faces and some you might not expect, either driving the AI conversation or simply making great use of AI tools. From self-driving cars to smarter streaming, let’s uncover how these companies are using AI to not just keep up but stand out in the competitive business world.
|Performance in 2023
|S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC)
|Market index (for your reference)
|$42.3 trillion total
|Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU)
|Fiverr International (NYSE: FVRR)
|Freelance services marketplace
|SoFi (NASDAQ: SOFI)
|Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA)
|Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)
|Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)
|Electric vehicles & energy
|John Deere (NYSE: DE)
|JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM)
|Banking & finance
|Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)
|Nike (NYSE: NKE)
Roku: AI-powered content search and advertising
The streaming technology expert uses machine learning to suggest what each user might want to watch next. The company also drives both the sales and display of advertising spots with AI tools, starting with the dataxu buyout in 2019.
Fiverr: Using and reselling AI services
Many investors see generative AI as a threat to Fiverr’s business model, since anyone can create AI-generated text, images, and even music. However, getting good results from generative AI requires giving the AI system great instructions and sifting the best results from a plethora of uninspired or factually incorrect results. So Fiverr is helping freelancers find new work in that burgeoning industry, and the company is using AI to boost its own productivity.
“Because of new technologies, because of AI, our team is much more effective,” Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman said at a recent industry conference. “I told my R&D team that I expect them to produce 30% more code this year already.”
SoFi: Pioneering AI in finance
Like most banks nowadays, SoFi relies on sophisticated AI analysis in many ways. From fraud detection and automated financial advisors to chatbots in customer service and instant loan approvals, SoFi does it all. And its mobile app for consumer-grade financial services includes the Konecta digital assistant. This chatbot was developed by Galileo Financial Technologies, which SoFi acquired in 2020. Like Roku, SoFi took action on the upcoming AI opportunity long before it was cool.
Walgreens: AI’s role in modern retail
The convenience store and pharmacy operator encounters millions of daily customers across a massive store network, generating tons of valuable transaction and customer information. The company started applying machine learning analysis to this intellectual treasure trove in 2017 to create tailor-made marketing messages in each store’s hyper-local market. Now, the company uses demand forecasting tools from Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA) to fine-tune its messaging even further.
“Prior to the advent of AI, demand planning around a single SKU might have been as simple as pulling in three internal/external variables,” according to a case study from Zebra. “Today, it could potentially take into account 50 or more — a monumental task for any human analyst to sift through at Walgreens’ scale.”
Netflix: Hollywood or Silicon Valley?
Netflix was always based on a rock-solid technical foundation. Co-founder and longtime CEO Reed Hastings started his careeer in software debugging and data analysis, and the lessons learned there always informed his management of the media-streaming giant. The company once ran a million-dollar developer competition to come up with a better content recommendation engine. The winning results were never used directly, but the contest generated entirely new AI methods and delivered game-changing insights on binge-watching. And if you want to learn something you didn’t know about AI technology, the publicly available Netflix Tech Blog provides hours of bleeding-edge fun. In short, AI is in this innovator’s DNA.
Tesla: At the intersection of AI and EV
Self-driving cars epitomize the idea of artificial intelligence. When your car can get from point A to point B both faster and more safely than any human driver, while avoiding every possible challenge and traffic condition along the road, that’ll be a big win for machine learning. Tesla isn’t there quite yet, but its self-driving platform grows more sophisticated every day. Moreover, the company is working on humanoid robots, its own AI analysis semiconductors, and a world-class AI-training supercomputer called Dojo.
John Deere: Sowing the seeds of agricultural AI
Now I’m really off in the left field. AI and farming go together like lamb and tuna, right? Well, John Deere disagrees. The farming equipment veteran has developed fully automated tractors, harvesting combines, and more. Autonomous driving is not limited to highways and back roads anymore. The fully autonomous gear is not available on the open market yet, but John Deere is taking this AI-driven opportunity seriously.
JPMorgan: Financial AI on a global scale
Like SoFi, JPMorgan includes AI tools behind the scenes in many ways. Its massive scale and incredibly deep pockets give this megabank the freedom to lead research into many potentially game-changing financial technologies today. Current projects include synthetic data sets for stress-testing real-world banking systems, advanced financial crime safeguards, and AI-powered cryptography solutions. “AI and the raw material that feeds it, data, will be critical to our company’s future success — the importance of implementing new technologies simply cannot be overstated,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in the company’s latest annual report.
Coca-Cola: Refreshing marketing, automated distribution
AI’s impact extends far beyond tech firms, reshaping traditional industries like Coca-Cola’s. Their AI-powered “Create Real Magic” marketing campaign exemplifies a shift toward personalized consumer interaction, inviting everyone to tell the Coke story with AI-infused tools. Beyond sales and marketing, Coca-Cola also leverages AI for internal efficiencies in data management and supply chain. This AI integration benefits not only Coca-Cola but also partners like Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST), improving bottling and distribution across the global system.
Nike: Making AI leaps forward
Finally, shoe and apparel titan Nike is no stranger to high-tech innovation. The company bought data analytics expert Zodiac in 2018, aiming to improve its customer relationships. To find the best fit for your feet, Nike offers an augmented reality app with machine learning smarts. A partnership with technology consulting giant Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) will bring “hyper-automation, AI, and process reengineering” into the shoe giant’s global operations.
This whirlwind trip across many sectors reveals AI’s transformative impact, not as a future possibility but as a current reality. Investors should consider how AI might change the game in pretty much every corner of Wall Street. The future of AI is ripe with possibilities, awaiting discovery by those with a keen eye for technology’s evolving role.
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JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Anders Bylund has positions in Fiverr International, Netflix, and Roku. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Fiverr International, JPMorgan Chase, Monster Beverage, Netflix, Nike, Roku, Tesla, and Zebra Technologies. The Motley Fool recommends Cognizant Technology Solutions and Deere and recommends the following options: long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola and long January 2025 $47.50 calls on Nike. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.