AI for Good — Best Ethical Artificial Intelligence Stocks for Q1 2021
It can be frustrating for an ethical AI investor to find stocks that actually exist.
Some of the most exciting, groundbreaking AI applications that are sure to change the world are held entirely by private companies. AI designed and managed vertical farming comes to mind, with companies like Plenty, AeroFarms, and Bowery getting hundreds of millions in private investment from all the big tech players.
Similarly, the asteroid mining craze came about a decade too early, but now technology has caught up. AI controlled asteroid capture, analysis, and rare element extraction is a near certainty by 2040, part of a trillion-dollar industry… but individuals won’t get a sniff at equity in the most promising companies in that sector for years to come.
We as individual investors don’t have the option to get involved in those third and fourth-round funding campaigns that very well might change the world as we know it. So what’s left?
Ethical Artificial Intelligence Stocks — Energy
Without a doubt, low-emission energy has one of the biggest medium to long term impacts on the future of our planet. And AI is going to play a major role in the future of renewables, fission/fusion, and grid management.
Sadly, many of the companies making AI-enhanced generation three nuclear reactors have poor environmental records elsewhere (the likes of Westinghouse), or questionable stock performance (BARC). Without a better global track record, we can’t recommend them. We may have to wait until TerraPower goes public before we get an acceptable fusion (pardon the pun) of AI safety monitoring and market performance required for investment.
So let’s look at the artificial intelligence stocks in the energy sector that you can jump into today.
The recent merger of Star Peak and Stem should have every ‘AI for good’ investor drooling. AI-driven clean energy storage is not only great for the environment, it is absolutely essential for the future of energy grids around the world. They’re still trading as Stem after the merger (NYSE: STPK), and public reception has seen their stock trend up. There’s a lot of promise here as a medium to long term hold. Anyone looking for hot, ethical artificial intelligence stocks needs to have a close look at this one.
Perhaps the least sexy but most stable long term AI investment in the energy sector is Schneider Electric SE (SU:FP). You might think that a 185 year old ex-smelting company would be a non-starter, but their transformation into a company with modern business ethics and planet-saving initiatives has been amazing to watch. Their AI partnership with Microsoft was just the beginning. They’re a top FTSE4GOOD company, with a 4.7 out of 5 sustainability rating. They have an ‘A’ rating on the CDP Climate Change scale. Of the bigger listings out there, this is one of the top picks if you’re interested in AI for good.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Orsted (CPH: ORSTED) was always going to be on this list. Over the last two years, they annihilated their coal holdings, embraced AI wind farm management, and became the most sustainable company in the world. Embracing offshore dropped their carbon emissions by a staggering 83%. They’ll be entirely coal-free by 2023. The only thing that would have kept them off the list is stock performance, but they’re trending upward with a vengeance. Their partnership with Microsoft’s AI division has yielded a lot of boons… they can plot out the foundation structure of an entire offshore farm in four to eight hours, shaving weeks off of the process. Right now, there’s no bigger success story in the world of AI for good.
AI for Good Stocks — Medical
While we don’t see a lot of publicly-traded medical companies with good social track records, there are exceptions. Some of those rather rare companies are using AI to enhance their products and processes. One particular stock stands out.
Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) is one of those artificial intelligence stocks that you hear about every so often, but you aren’t sure why. In this case, they recently released the CyberKnife S7 System, which looks to be a game-changer in the submillimeter radiation therapy field. It uses AI to provide image guidance during treatment, allowing the beam to hit the tumor even as it moves with the body’s natural processes. The company itself is equal opportunity, pay-transparent, and they are voluntary members of the EthicsPoint reporting organization.
AI for Good Stocks — Tech
Tech is a broad umbrella, but it houses some of the most important AI companies on the planet. On the ethics side, some of these companies have simply outgrown their own governance. They make massive sacrifices to deal with a global market that, in some dark corners, can hardly be considered AI for good.
But in the small and mid-sized range, some of these companies stand out. Here is one of the artificial intelligence stocks in the tech industry that is worth a good, hard look.
One of the biggest proponents of data ethics and policing AI image recognition usage, Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) is one to watch. They had a rough 2019, with their stock hitting an all-time low. But in under 18 months, it sprang back to relatively good health, and 2021 looks like it could be a growth year. Their use of AI and ML goes far beyond their peers, and they’re constantly above the corporate social responsibility curve when compared to other IT hosting companies. Over half their internal code is donated to Apache-licensed open source projects. This makes them one of the biggest supporters of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem, which gives them a ton of goodwill in the open-source community.
These five stocks have the right combination of ethical standards, AI utilization, vision, and value to be included on the early 2021 list. Though we would love to see more public offerings in vertical farming and asteroid mining, two of the most transformative AI-centric technologies in the coming decades, for the moment we’ll settle for these picks in energy, medical, and tech. Given these examples, it is fair to say that 2021 should be an exciting year for artificial intelligence stocks.