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‘AI Valuations Dwarf Dot-com Bubble’ as Tech Giants Drive Partnerships

Last Updated February 26, 2024 6:09 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated February 26, 2024 6:09 PM

Key Takeaways  

  • Apollo Global Management has compared AI’s rise to the 1990s tech bubble.
  • Recent tech developments include Google’s Gemini 1.0 Ultra and partnerships with Reddit.
  • AI token market cap stands at $17.4 billion at press time.
  • Concerns rise over the use of AI-generated content to influence elections.

AI-led innovation has pushed businesses to integrate the emerging technology. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) valuations are reaching new heights, dwarfing historical benchmarks set during the dot-com bubble. Tech giants are driving partnerships as the AI sector evolves quickly, raising questions about sustainability and ethics.

AI Valuation Bubble

Apollo Global Management recently carried a post  on its website that compared today’s AI valuations and those from the peak of the mid-1990s tech bubble.

The study included the top 10 companies that constitute the S&P500 index. However, it is worth noting that separate consolidation concerns are also a matter of discussion with these top tech performers.

The Kobeissi Letter explained a concerning discrepancy in forward P/E ratios, with the top 10 tech stocks currently averaging around 40x, surpassing the 26x peak of the 2000 bubble.

Forward Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio indicates that investors are willing to pay $40 for every $1 of earnings these companies are expected to generate. The ratio for the top 10 tech stocks is also higher than other historical peaks in 1990 and 1995.

Essentially, investors are currently placing a much higher value on the future earnings of tech companies, suggesting expectations of strong growth or possibly speculative overvaluation.

The primary concern with overvaluation in the stock market, particularly when it reaches bubble territory, is the risk of a bubble burst. Price inflation far beyond the intrinsic values due to speculation or other reasons can lead to a sharp correction or a “burst.”

However, due to the market consolidation, the high valuation could be more concentrated.

Recently, top players like Google and Microsoft slated new AI deals. Google recently unveiled Gemini 1.0 Ultra to offer more utility to developers and cloud customers.

This stride is coupled with a partnership with IPO-bound Reddit. Microsoft’s alliance  with Mistral AI also hit the news with a push towards open-source AI solutions on its Azure platform.

The Competition Heats Up With the Risks

While competition intensified in the sector, Elon Musk has openly criticized Google’s AI for perceived bias. While Google’s Gemini has removed the image feature after backlash, Musk is challenging the tech giant’s capacity to rectify underlying issues.

Meanwhile,  AI tokens continue to gain traction as shown by the increase in market cap. At press time, CoinGecko finds that the capitalization stands over $17b.

 But amid the rise, there are risks associated with AI that keep coming to the forefront. Home Secretary James Cleverly reportedly warned of AI-generated fakes potentially swaying public opinion in elections while speaking  to The Times. Meta is also preparing to combat deceptive AI content ahead of the EU elections, as per reports.

Are the Valuations Fair?

As the AI sector balloons to sizes eclipsing those of past market bubbles, there are concerns of a ‘burst.’ Is this an era of technological advancement or a cautionary tale in the making?

 While AI will deepen integration into businesses and otherwise, regulatory frameworks might be slow to catch up. So the world has to learn to navigate the issues that come with an AI-driven future.

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