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The Bot Brief

POSTED 07/16/2023

"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

Favorable reports from the CPI and PPI added credence to the impact of interest rate increases on the fight against inflation. The CPI came in at only 3%, while the PPI rose only .1%, the lowest since August 2020. The reports allowed the S & P 500 to increase almost 2 ½ percent for the week and the Bot Index to increase 2%.

The bots were negatively impacted by a Japanese company whose stock fell 8.44% and several of the defense companies had weakness during the period.

NVIDIA Corp. led the robotic companies with a nearly 7% increase. New applications for artificial intelligence seem to pop up daily which tends to add excitement for semiconductor industry. Just this week scientists used AI to translate 5,000-year-old cuneiform tablets, meteorological predictions are being made more quickly and accurately, Elon Musk announced his new company will focus on AI venture to, “understand the true nature of the universe.”, and the IEEE Spectrum devoted its cover story to ‘The Great AI Treasure Hunt’. Also contributing to this week’s increase was the coverage analyst from Truist Bank who revised his twelve-month projections for the stock to a price of $545 (the stock closed at $454.69!

Right behind NVIDIA was a gain of 6.86% recorded by Intuitive Surgical. The company was the subject of a Zacks Research report, ‘Three Reasons to Add Intuitive Surgical to Your Portfolio’. The rationale centered on the company’s leadership in robotics, progress on the use of AI in surgeries and a strong first quarter earnings report.

NIO Inc. gained 5.51% following the China Association of Auto Manufacturers’ attempt to negate some of the price wars between EV’s that have recently impacted their earnings.

While a low-priced Japanese company led the losers with its 8.44% decline, a number of the defense components of the Bot Index showed minor weakness. All down were shares of AeroVironment, Raytheon Technologies and Northrup Grumman.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance

The AI Train Keeps Rolling:

As mentioned earlier, The IEEE Spectrum published its cover story on the utilization of AI to uncover ‘treasures’. Certainly, the treasures are not pirate gold or lost civilizations (however, a recent Bot Brief made note of a Japanese team of scientists who used AI camera interpretations to detail ancient South American petroglyphs). The Spectrum’s story centered on a company funded by Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and Bill Gates, that is currently utilizing AI to search for rare minerals in Canada. The company, KoBold Metals, acquired an 800 square kilometer parcel based upon AI predictions of likely deposits of nickel and cobalt. According to KoBold’s management the demand for electric vehicles will require the discovery and production of an incremental $15 trillion of cobalt, copper, lithium, and nickel by midcentury.  

The company’s AI solution software processes millions of data points from physics and geological anomalies which include: geochemical measurements of the concentrations of dozens of elements in samples of rock, soil, drill cores, plants, and groundwater, geophysical measurements of the gravitational field, magnetic field, natural and induced electric currents, seismic waves and radiation from the decay of heavy-element nuclei in the earth’s crust, satellite imagery and a multitude of other inputs. These exhausting correlations, when blended and analyzed help to pinpoint the most likely and profitable sources of the metals which may exist many kilometers below the earth’s surface




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.