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In 2007, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, and the revolutionary device changed not only the smartphone industry but many others as well. Now, analysts are wondering if the emergence of ChatGPT signals an “iPhone” moment for artificial intelligence.

The rise of artificial intelligence is taking the tech world by storm. The technology is also making waves on Wall Street.

It is early days for so-called generative AI, a form of artificial intelligence that can conjure original ideas in the form of text, video or other media. But the tool has caused a stir in companies, schools, governments and the general public for its ability to process massive amounts of information and generate sophisticated content in response to prompts from users.

Big technology companies are investing billions of dollars in the technology. Startups are raising cash and trying to develop business models using AI at a rapid pace.

Investors are gauging the extent to which AI’s arrival will upend companies, industries and contemporary business practices—and placing bets accordingly. That has sent stocks swinging wildly in both directions: Chip maker Nvidia’s shares are surging, while shares of study-materials company Chegg CHGG 3.33%increase; green up pointing triangle have plummeted. Enthusiasm for the potential of AI is one reason big tech companies are among this year’s strongest performers.

There is little doubt that generative AI chatbots are popular. ChatGPT reached 100 million users in two months, the fastest app on record, analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a research note. In comparison, TikTok took nine months to reach that milestone, while Instagram took 30.

“We view AI as huge, and we’ll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last week on a conference call with analysts.

Apple isn’t alone. There have been more than 300 mentions of “generative AI” on company conference calls worldwide so far this year, according to data from AlphaSense. The phrase barely garnered a mention before 2023.

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