Artificial Intelligence

‘AI’ remains central to the quarterly conference calls

Artificial intelligence remains a hot topic in earnings calls from Microsoft, Alphabet, and others on Wall Street this quarter, even as investors look for more evidence that their big bets on the new technology will pay off.

According to a Reuters analysis of LSEG transcripts, the terms “AI” or “artificial intelligence” were used in 38% of S&P 500 companies’ conference calls in January, up from 34% at the same time during the third quarter earnings season and in line with the second quarter, when the conversation around AI reached its peak.

Microsoft, Apple, and Advanced Micro Devices explained Tuesday evening how customers like their AI-based generative products. But rising costs for developing advanced features angered investors, and all three stocks fell on Wednesday, with Alphabet down as much as 7%.

AI’s continued prominence in conference calls reflects a rise in Wall Street’s heavyweight stocks, which investors say are most likely to benefit from the technology. That rally helped the S&P 500 rise 24% last year, and in recent sessions, Microsoft, Alphabet, Nvidia, Broadcom, and others have hit record highs.

“AI” has been mentioned an average of 3.5 times per S&P 500 call so far in January, compared to 3.3 times per call at the same time in the October quarter.

Conference calls from Alphabet and Microsoft this month led to other companies mentioning AI, with the terms “AI” or “artificial intelligence” used 53 and 52 times, respectively.

They are followed by software supplier ServiceNow, which mentioned the conditions 51 times last week, and AMD, with 42 mentions on Tuesday’s call.