Disruptive Tech Theme of the Week: Zeno Mercer Talks AI and Robotics

This is an exciting time for artificial intelligence and robotics stocks, with many companies reporting and some major news announcements. This week, for the Disruptive Theme of the Week, I reached out to VettaFi’s Senior Research Analyst, Zeno Mercer, for an update on the latest developments in AI and robotics.

Disruptive Tech Theme of the Week Zeno Mercer Talks AI & Robotics

Zeno Mercer, Senior Research Analyst for VettaFi

Jane: Zeno, I just read that Elon Musk revealed his own artificial intelligence bot to challenge ChatGPT, claiming, of course, that his product, dubbed “Grok,” is superior. What do you make of this news in terms of its impact? Will “Grok” become a formidable challenger rivaling ChatGPT, Bard, and others?

Zeno: I am admittedly still waiting to get off the waitlist… but his demo so far has been underwhelming. This isn’t to say that Elon and X can’t do something based on the corpus of X/Twitter and build it into a useful tool (as he flushes out his super-app ambitions).

Jane: In terms of the winners of the AI race, which companies are at the forefront of AI technology? And which ones are you most excited about for the future?

Zeno: Obviously, OpenAI is pushing boundaries of what is publicly available to the developer ecosystem and the public. Hence, the billions poured into it, which will continue to be poured into it. We also have other contenders that are getting backing from the likes of Alphabet and Amazon, such as Anthropic. It’s pretty telling that these large public companies are putting so much money into these private ventures. From a forward-looking standpoint – and this separates this latest technological advance from the past 15 years – it’s unclear who the winner will be at this point.

Does Alphabet get de-platformed? Or do they pivot into new business models (using what is considered one of the largest data sets on earth)? Can META convert its open-source technology into more revenue streams? Or do we simply see new social networking platforms with better user alignment come into the fold? Does Microsoft’s success lead to its downfall through fewer licenses needed for operations?