As ChatGPT mania takes hold, here’s how companies beyond tech are using A.I.

ChatGPT is kicking off an artificial intelligence revolution , but it’s not just big technology stocks that are taking a cue. AI’s been in use for years, of course, helping companies improve products, efficiency and their business models. But now the launch of the Microsoft -backed language chatbot ChatGPT has ignited an AI frenzy, triggering speculation among investors and on Wall Street. According to data from UBS, ChatGPT likely amassed 100 million users in January alone, forcing Alphabet , Meta Platforms and other companies to explain during their quarterly earnings conference calls how artificial intelligence is being used to improve their business. Beyond the technology world, it’s hard to imagine what role a buzzy tech word can play in everyday life, but AI tools can help companies better analyze data, cut costs, improve efficiency and — theoretically, anyway — increase value for shareholders. MSFT YTD mountain Microsoft’s year-to-date performance Earnings calls from financial bellwethers, oil giants and industrial behemoths alike all underscore how the push for AI is taking hold in our everyday lives. Don’t be surprised to see it affect how we live, sleep and work in the years to come. Media conglomerate Comcast , the parent company of CNBC, is harnessing AI to improve expenses and innovate within high-speed broadband, while Stanley Black & Decker mentioned it’s using AI to help customers better measure the hardening of concrete. Using a search in FactSet, CNBC Pro found frequent usages of AI, artificial intelligence, ChatGPT or a variation of those terms, in fourth-quarter earnings call transcripts of a host of health, industrial and financial stocks. Here’s how some of the biggest companies outside of technology are using AI to improve their businesses: Health-care companies bet on AI One of the biggest beneficiaries of the latest AI trends might be health-care companies. In its earnings call this month, GE HealthCare Technologies highlighted how AI and deep learning applications are helping clinicians improve efficiencies, better detect population trends and decrease scan times for imaging affecting about 5.5 million patients worldwide. Within the company’s Vivid cardiac ultrasound portfolio in particular, CEO Peter Arduini said using AI is reducing time for imaging measurements and helping providers better assess heart muscle function. GEHC YTD mountain Shares rallied 19% in January and 3% so far this month GE isn’t alone. Both Cardinal Health and hospital operator HCA highlighted the use of AI and machine learning in helping customers better manage inventory and purchasing. Even Quest Diagnostics noted how AI can benefit productivity and sampling. Some health companies also view machine learning and AI as tools to assist in areas with doctor shortages or fewer resources. Karleen Oberton, chief financial officer of medical imaging company Hologic , highlighted machine learning as a way to innovate the patient experience and potentially improve radiologist efficiency. Wells Fargo views health care and biotechnology as marking the next frontier for AI exploration. Analyst Nathan Treybeck, for example, recently initiated coverage of iRhythm Technologies with an overweight rating. The company creates Zio monitors, which harness AI and machine learning to detect arrhythmia more efficiently than more traditional technology. “Zio monitors have demonstrated leading patient compliance and diagnostic yield metrics,” the analyst said, placing a $150 price target on Hologic shares, or nearly 38% upside from Tuesday’s close. Financials Financials are another area of the market poised to benefit from AI, at least according to their management teams. Wells Fargo first announced its AI-powered virtual assistant known as Fargo in 2021. The tool, already in use among some employees, is slated to launch among customers later this year, CEO Charles Scharf said during an earnings call in January. WFC YTD mountain Wells Fargo shares have so far surged 16.6% in 2023 In December, Wells Fargo also unveiled Vantage, an AI tool that’s able to offer client-tailored recommendations. Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman said on an earnings call last month that the exchange operator believes it can develop AI-based orders within its markets platform using its cloud infrastructure and analytics engines. “These capabilities will also become available to our exchange technology clients as we work collaboratively with them to deploy cloud-based market infrastructures in their home markets,” she said. Industrials and energy producers Old-school industrial stocks and energy providers and their servicers have also lauded the use of AI in improving efficiencies. SLB , the world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor, noted strong growth in its AI solution sales harnessed to improve workflows, while Parker-Hannifin said artificial intelligence tools are helping it better forecast demand from customers and suppliers. Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy said it’s using AI technology to improve efficiency at its plants and move from “reactive to proactive maintenance,” said Brian Van Abel, Xcel’s chief financial officer. “We’re investing significantly in, call it real-time scheduling and other opportunities to use AI,” he said. During a recent earnings call with investors, Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said the construction equipment maker is “investing heavily” in AI tools to improve aftermarket service and repairs, and parts availability. CAT YTD mountain Caterpillar shares since the start of the year “We need to have the right parts at the right place at the right time and that’s one of the benefits of having connected assets and also utilizing AI with those connect assets to ensure that we anticipate where those parts will be needed,” he said. Even recruiting firms say that AI has its place in their business. Robert Half International mentioned the term AI at least five times on its January conference call, with management highlighting its use in finding job candidates. The tools “have transformed how we identify and select candidates; we’re turning our attention to using AI to identify the warmest leads for our field professionals on the sales side,” said CEO M. Keith Waddell. “It’s early days, but we’re optimistic.” — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting. Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which includes CNBC.

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