It might be surprising, but the phrase “artificial intelligence” has been around for over half a century — since 1955, in fact. It was intended to describe a new computer science subdiscipline.
But what exactly is artificial intelligence? In simple terms, artificial intelligence, or AI, means “simulated intelligence in machines.” In other words, machines with AI are capable of thinking like people and mimicking their actions. The ideal characteristic of AI is the ability to rationalize.
Of course, that is a very broad definition of AI technology. There are actually at least 10 different applications of AI, which seems to prove that this market isn’t going away anytime soon.
Case in point: Research conducted by Markets and Markets suggests the AI industry will be worth over US$309.6 billion by 2026, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 39.7 percent between 2021 and 2026. With that much money going into the sector, there is certainly no shortage of ways for investors to add AI investments to their portfolios.
For the investor who is new to this segment of the technology arena and would prefer to gain exposure to the overall market rather than specific AI stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETF) are a popular way to do so. Here the Investing News Network looks at five AI-focused ETFs listed on ETFdb.com. All details were current as of October 26, 2021.
According to ETFdb.com, these artificial intelligence ETFs are required to meet one of three criteria:
- Involvement in developing new products, services or technological improvements in scientific research related to AI
- Funds that have 25 percent portfolio exposure to companies that spend money on AI research and development expenses
- Use of AI methods to choose individual securities to be included in the fund
1. Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ)
Assets under management (AUM): US$2.87 billion
First on our artificial intelligence ETFs list is the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF. It offers exposure to firms involved in the global automation and robotics industries.
According to ETF.com, the Global X Robotics ETF was launched in September 2016 and has holdings in various markets, including technology, healthcare and energy. Eligible companies must earn a significant portion of their revenue from, or have a stated business purpose in, the fields of robotics or artificial intelligence.
The ETF currently tracks 36 holdings, including Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA).
2. ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARCA:ARKQ)
AUM: US$2.73 billion
The ARK Industrial Innovation ETF was created in September 2014, and primarily focuses on advancements in autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing and energy storage technology that enhances productivity and reduces costs.
The fund describes itself as including companies that may “benefit from the development of new products or services, technological improvements and advancements in scientific research related to, among other things, energy, automation and manufacturing, materials and transportation.”
ARK tracks 38 holdings, with its two biggest holdings being Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Unity Software (NYSE:U).
3. Robo Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ARCA:ROBO)
AUM: US$1.96 billion
The Robo Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF, launched in October 2013, was the first robotics and automation ETF to market. As its name suggests, it follows companies involved in those sectors.
Robo Global currently tracks 84 companies, and its top two holdings are iRhythym Technologies (NASDAQ:IRTC) and Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS).
4. iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ARCA:IRBO)
AUM: US$457.76 million
The next AI ETF on our list is the iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF, which is relatively new — the fund launched in June 2018. It tracks an index composed of 106 developed and emerging market companies that could benefit from long-term growth in robotics technologies and artificial intelligence. The fund has the lowest expense ratio of the AI funds on this list at 0.47 percent.
Some of the ETF’s top holdings include Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD).
5. First Trust NASDAQ Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (NASDAQ:ROBT)
AUM: US$282.61 million
Last but not least on our artificial intelligence ETFs list is the First Trust NASDAQ Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF, which launched in February 2018. It tracks an index of all-cap, global companies involved in artificial intelligence or robotics.
Some of these companies are involved in advanced machinery, semiconductors or databases used for machine learning; other companies offer products, software or systems, and still others provide value to the AI and robotics industries.
This ETF’s portfolio is comprised of 107 holdings, including Ambarella and Gentex (NASDAQ:GNTX).
Which of these artificial intelligence ETFs would you invest in and why? Tell us in the comments.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2017.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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