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Technology is changing every industry on the planet. As investors, it is our job to identify who is best set to capitalise on these smart innovations.
The smart network
The mobile internet boom witnessed over the last decade created the infrastructure that has enabled a vast ecosystem of smart software companies to thrive. A range of new technologies are making networks, systems, processes and products of all kinds increasingly responsive and intelligent. Clearly, there are potential gains to be made here, as ‘smart’ entities have the potential to radically enhance efficiency and productivity.
However, these productivity gains often come with a human cost, as industries are reshaped when machines can do the job of human workers for a fraction of the price. The future of work has therefore become a topic of much discussion across governments and the private sector alike, and may influence companies in the smart technology space through regulation to address these issues.
The effects of tech
With smart technology on the rise, we are paying special attention to developments in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) technology, automation and the mobility revolution, including electric vehicles. We believe that these ideas capture the essence of the smart revolution, and will serve as guide to innovations in this space.
AI and automation are likely to have profound effects on the labour market, which might be good for business but will not come without a slew of changes to regulation and society, a reality that we must build into our analysis of these ideas. VR has potential to disrupt a number of consumer sectors, including entertainment and travel.
Why being smart about smart technology matters
We see technological developments as a mainstay of the future, with new innovations affecting every industry on the planet. This makes it paramount for us to incorporate our analysis of these new technologies into everything we do, to ensure that we are getting the fullest picture of our investments and their prospects. Our smart revolution theme helps us to keep our focus where it matters most, and to invest accordingly.
Machines and networks are becoming more intelligent. This is disrupting the labour market, as machines increasingly replace humans in the workplace. ‘Smart revolution’ considers the implications commercially, socially and politically.
Meet the team
We have a research group for each theme, made up of analysts, portfolio managers and other members of the investment team, that collaborate on new thematic ideas and analysis. Here are the co-leaders in the smart revolution theme group.
Portfolio manager, emerging and Asian equities
Portfolio manager, global equities
Our key areas of focus
Artificial intelligence allows machines to learn from experience, using iterative methods to adjust to new inputs. In turn, machines are expected to perform tasks and make good decisions, and appear to be surpassing human ability in a growing number of domains. This technology is expected to have a material effect on many industries.
Machines are becoming more efficient, with the use of various methods and control systems performing diverse tasks across numerous domains with fewer human interactions. As a result, capital is displacing labour, and returns on investments in new robots continue to increase.
Virtual reality is an interactive computer-generated experience within a simulated environment. It is a nascent technology with the potential to enhance training and skills in a number of dangerous professions, while also disrupting a number of sectors including entertainment, travel and leisure.
The mobility revolution
Enabled by artificial intelligence and the proliferation of affordable, low-power computing, autonomous passenger vehicles and commercial logistics systems will have profound implications for the way we conduct our daily lives and for our propensity to travel. This will affect the way cities are designed and how governments budget for mass public transport systems. The knock-on effects across industries will be vast.
A deep dive into…
The potential consequences of artificial intelligence
Current levels of concern are so high that artificial intelligence has been identified by Cambridge University as one of the few existential risks facing humanity.
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