The Global X Future Analytics Tech ETF (NasdaqGM: AIQ) fits the bill as a thematic ETF and its underlying theme, artificial intelligence, and big data offer long-term investors significant opportunities.

The Global X Future Analytics Tech ETF tries to reflect the performance of the Indxx Artificial Intelligence & Big Data Index, which is comprised of companies involved in the development and utilization of artificial intelligence and big data. The underlying index includes those involved in generating vast amounts of data and developing proprietary AI systems to derive actionable insights from the data set.

Underscoring the utility of the AI investment thesis is the multiple day-to-day uses and markets this technology intersects with. Those include something as prosaic as fast-food service.

“McDonald’s signaled a commitment to enhance customer ordering at the drive-thru with its acquisition of Apprente,” according to Global X research. “A two-year-old startup, Apprente uses machine learning to deliver human-level, conversational ordering in multiple languages and accents. Drive-thrus at fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s can be great use-case for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which could streamline everything from taking orders to making recommendations and processing payments. McDonald’s announced that Apprente will also be the founding member of McD Tech Labs, an integrated group within McDonald’s global technology division.”

Assessing AIQ

AIQ’s underlying index screens artificial intelligence companies based on artificial intelligence applied to product services and artificial intelligence-as-a-service for big data applications. Additionally, companies included in the underlying index include companies that produce hardware for artificial intelligence applications and those developing quantum computing.

Healthcare is another market with vast opportunities for AI and one where the technology is already being used.

“Researchers from the Universities of Surrey, Warwick, and Florence developed a new AI technology able to detect congestive heart failure (CHF) with 100% accuracy,” notes Global X. “And they did so using just one raw electrocardiogram (ECG) heartbeat. The researchers used Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), a deep learning algorithm that takes in an input image and differentiates it from another. Large, publicly available ECG datasets featuring people with CHF and healthy hearts were critical to breakthrough.”

Related: This Robotics ETF Shrugs Off Cyclical Slump 

Bolstering the case for AIQ are robust AI spending projections.

“Worldwide spending on artificial intelligence (AI) systems is forecast to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 44.0% over the amount spent in 2018,” according to International Data Corp.’s (IDC) recently published Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide.

For more thematic investment strategies, visit our Thematic Investing Channel.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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