Which ASX companies are integrating AI as a core part of their business?
The emerging field of artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising industries and transforming society, while also giving the tech sector a good ol’ boost along in 2023.
In simple forms AI refers to development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that would typically require human intelligence.
Key aspects of AI’s rise include advanced machine learning, automation for efficiency, natural language processing (NLP) enabling human-like interactions such as Siri, computer vision for visual interpretation, personalised recommendation systems (such as what to watch on Netflix), healthcare advancements and autonomous systems.
Global X Australia head of Investment Strategy Blair Hannon said while AI is not new it’s generative AI that has particularly been the paradigm shift exciting investors in 2023.
“It’s ability to generate content from natural language then output into AI generated written, pictures or video is the game changer,” he said.
When Microsoft-backed US AI company OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022 the latest technological breakthrough in generative AI became the fastest growing consumer application in history, according to a UBS study
Hannon said when it comes to who is going to be big winners in the AI space there are those developing the AI as a service like ChatGPT.
“We see a range of winners, and that’s certainly one part which is AI-as-a-service, like we have seen with software-as-a-service” he said.
He said a lot of hype around AI is in the hardware with companies like Nasdaq-listed Nvidia, which is up more than 200% YTD, also likely to be a winner.
“Nvidia’s GPUs are much better to train the AI models because the chipsets’ architecture is significantly superior to the CPU that powers laptops and phones,” Hannon said.
Thirdly Hannon said Hyperscalers – large cloud service providers that can provide services such as computing and storage at enterprise scale – are also benefiting from AI.
“All these new AI services such as ChatGPT need to run off the cloud to both train their models and also to enable a user interface” he said.
“OpenAI’s … deal they did with Microsoft, gave them access to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform which has seen their ability to scale significantly increase. We are also seeing this with the likes of Google, so we expect the big hyperscalers, being Microsoft, Google and Amazon, will be big winners.”
Hannon said data management will also be important.
“Think if you’re a bank and have all this data … you need to ensure data management strategy now includes AI and there are some key data management companies positioning for that collaboration for enterprise,” he said.
There are also those companies which are using AI to improve their operations or offerings to customers which are benefiting.
Here’s some of the ASX stocks we’ve noticed where AI has become an integral part of their business.
Extended reality (XR) tech company VR1 has released a ChatGPT-powered mixed reality solution 3DFrame on Apple’s macOS.
3DFrame enables businesses to enhance their immersive product presentations and training experiences in 3D and virtual reality (VR).
VR1 said the expansion enhances the solution’s reach, effectiveness, and cross-platform functionality.
The company said organisations can leverage the power of AI and immersive 3D presentations seamlessly across Apple devices, ensuring a wider audience can benefit from the solution.
Additionally, VR1 said the cross-platform compatibility enables for a consistent and streamlined experience, whether businesses choose to use Windows or macOS, providing flexibility and accessibility to meet diverse user needs.
By harnessing capabilities of ChatGPT and linking its responses to 3D models and animations, companies can deliver real-time guidance and instruction to new employees, significantly reducing training costs and time.
SP3’s proprietary tech solutions use visual artificial intelligence and IoT that allow organisations to sense, think and act, so they can protect people and property and improve productivity, even in remote locations and harsh conditions.
Managing director Gerard Dyson said SP3’s tagline is ‘Sense, Think, Act’.
“We taking images and video from cameras and interpreting those using AI,” Dyson said.
He said their hardware is modular and includes the likes of cameras, speakers, lights and other sensors which is the sense part.
“The think part is that our edge and cloud processors use decision rules and artificial intelligence to make autonomous decisions. In a security instance it differentiates between a moving branch, for example, and a person so reduces false alarms,” he said.
“The action part is immediately the AI senses something it can turn on a light, speak to someone, open a gate remotely send an email alert, record the data, call for a security guard and so much more.”
He said the other element which is worth noting for SP3 is they have become largely a hardware platform for third party AI providers.
“So instead of having to develop their own hardware which is capital intensive they can buy, rent or lease from Spectur and stick to their knitting and what they’re good at.”
AI is a key component of medical imaging company VHT, which specialises in the early detection of breast cancer. According to its website VHT’s AI-powered image analysis enables radiologists to quantify breast tissue with precision and helps technologists produce mammograms with optimal image quality, positioning, compression, and dose.
The company’s platform is used in more than 2,000 facilities by more than 5,600 technologists, impacting nearly 15 million patients globally.
The platform helps providers conduct more than three million cancer risk assessments each year and can be deployed standalone or fully integrated with electronic health record systems, mammography reporting systems, imaging hardware, and genetic laboratories.
“Volpara uses AI to help technologists manage workflow, prioritise images to help identify where a tumour might be sitting – they’re the key areas where they leverage AI,” Morgan’s health analyst Scott Power said.
TRJ specialises in development and manufacturing analytical science instruments, devices, and solutions for healthcare, food, and environmental analysis to ensure the integrity and reliability of the results generated.
“We are interfacing with AI and so what we have discovered is if our tools are generating the data that is coming out of a laboratory then we interface with topic experts who have their own machine learning or AI for different purposes,” co-founder and CEO Stephen Tomisich told Stockhead.
The company has a 10% interest in a UK company which looks at data and four different hormones and can look at change in hormone levels in pre-menopausal women.
“It becomes preventative personalised healthcare and I’m sure we are on the cusp of models developing around exposure to toxic pollutants in the environment and its correlation to the onset of certain disease conditions,” Tomisich said.
“We foresaw that AI and machine learning would be applied to the outputs of laboratory which is analytical data but we also then concluded that the information and decisions made by that processing would only as be good as the quality of the data which gets inputted in the first place.”
SOR is registered under the Australian Federal Government ‘Pooled Development Fund Program’ with a mandate to back proprietary Australian innovation.
The company funds research and development, intellectual property protection collaboration and scale-up, whilst remaining open to a major strategic investor/partner that could escalate commercialisation.
The Federal Government provides investors in SOR with potential tax benefits in return for the company backing higher-risk Australian innovation under the ‘Pooled Development Fund Program’.
Managing director Charles Murphy told Stockhead SOR is backing Stealth Technologies – a 100% owned venture – which is working with The University of Western Australia researchers to develop artificial intelligence and robotics technologies.
Murphy said Stealth team built an autonomous and robotic vehicle with Honeywell to perform perimeter security testing and patrols.
“It is able to drive around the perimeter navigating its own route to avoid obstacles and uses AI to perform various tasks including recognising objects in its surrounding such as people and who they are,” he said.
“Stealth is developing AI algorithms that are better than humans at surveying the surrounding environment to detect, for example, suspicious objects at any time of day or night.”
He said Stealth is also using its technology in underground mining where AI is being leveraged to analyse spatial data to recognise features underground or things that have changed.
“The technology Stealth is developing can enable companies to mine more quickly and accurately and to automate more of their underground mine operations,” he said.
“It is able to operate in underground environments that can be hostile to humans and to observe changes in these environments that humans will not notice and are complex to monitor.”
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Vection Technologies, Spectur, Trajan Group Holdings and Strategic Elements are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.