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The Bot Brief

POSTED 06/25/2023

"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."     

- Victor Hugo


Bots in The News:Bot Index vs. S & P 500

With terrible domestic and Japanese markets last week, the Bot Index experienced only three gainers for the week. Amazon demonstrated the only real gain, at 3%, while Apple and Lockheed Martin were up fractionally. As a result, the Bots fell 3.50% while the general market was off 1.39%. Amazon’s gain was attributed to considerable ‘noise’ surrounding the company’s use of AI in corporate strategies involving cloud-based computing and storage.

NIO Inc. was the sole double-digit decliner with a 10.32% slide. The decline was surprising in that Abu Dhabi indicated that it was taking a 7% interest in the company through a $740.5 million capital infusion. Will be interesting to see if the news impacts next week’s trading.

In addition to NIO, other Asian components of the Bot Brief fell precipitously during the week. The NIKKEI declined 1.45% and carried with it an 8.66% decrease in OMRON Corp., a 5.53% retreat by Fanuc Corp. and a 6.62% drop by Keyence.

Most of the 8.39% damage to shares of Immersion Corp. came on Friday as the stock collapsed from $7.10 to $6.66. Clearly, an institutional investor liquidated to the tune of almost 5 million shares, over ten times normal daily trading.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance  

And Some of the Economics:

In two of the articles posted in the AEA Papers and Proceedings (May 2023, vol 113) there were several interesting postulates laid out by the professors. Several quotes are noted below that add some context to the advent of robotics in industrial applications:

“New technologies drive productivity growth. Preliminary evidence using national-level data from 17 countries between 1993 and 2007 suggests that robots, like prior generations of general-purpose technologies, are also driving productivity growth. Moreover, according to data compiled by the International Federation of robotics since 2010 the number of robot shipments has nearly quadrupled from about 100,000 to almost 400,000 per year so the impact of robots on the economy is likely to become even greater.

The share of adopting firms (robots remains low for AI and robotics (3.2% and 2% of firms respectively) and rises to 19.6 and 40.2 percent for equipment and software respectively.

Adoption of advanced technology is concentrated in larger firms.  As a result, a high share of workers is exposed to these technologies, especially in manufacturing. For example, 12 to 64 percent of US workers and 22 to 72 percent of US manufacturing workers are exposed to these technologies.

Consistent with the use of these advanced technologies for automation, adopters have higher labor productivity and lower labor shares.

Firms report that these technologies increase their demand for skills but do not necessarily expand employment.”


Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association (now A3 Automation), Member IEEE.

The Bot Brief is a weekly newsletter designed for economists, investment specialists, journalists, and academicians. It receives no remuneration from any companies that may from time to time be featured in the brief and its commentaries, analysis, opinions, and research represent the subjective view of Balcones Investment Research, LLC. Due to the complex and rapidly changing nature of the subject matter, the company makes no assurances as to the absolute accuracy of the material presented.