Path-breaking innovations are transforming the global economy, and emerging technologies are reshaping traditional industries and spawning new ones at a staggering rate. The World Economic Forum called it the Fourth Industrial Revolution. CNBC, along with our partners at disruptive financial start-up Kensho, are simply calling it The New Economy.
Kensho has developed its New Economy Indices: 21st Century Sectors to measure the growth of the many emerging technologies. Using its natural-language platform, together with a suite of sophisticated algorithms, Kensho scours millions of pages of financial statements and other public information to identify the constituents of each index. Kensho also weights each constituent according to the degree to which a given technology is central to the company's strategy. Vast computing power and intelligent processing uncover relationships that would be too time consuming or impossible for a human to do manually.
Take the Autonomous Vehicles Index (KCARS), for example. Some of the index constituents are auto-industry incumbents, like Ford Motor and Delphi Automotive. Others, like Tesla Motors and Chinese internet giant Baidu, have made grand proclamations about bringing a self-driving car to market in the next five years. Then there are companies like SiriusXM, which is working on a new service that combines its satellite radio service with wireless internet capability, that are hoping to have a growing role in the connected-cars market.
They are among the companies in a Kensho New Economy index that has surged more than 25 percent since February.
The indexes also collectively help discover companies making bets under the radar. For example, it's intuitive to see Lockheed Martin, a stalwart of the defense sector, as a component in the Space and Drones indexes. But it's also part of the Cyber Security index, which may be less obvious and should give investors additional insight into how the company is positioned to take advantage of future opportunities. And it may already be reaping the benefits of being in three of the 21st Century Sector indices: Lockheed shares are up more than 20 percent year-over-year.
Kensho has rolled out 13 sector indices in all and has more planned. Below is a summary of each and a list of their constituents.
More information is coming soon as CNBC adds the indices to its suite of exclusive real-time market tools. You can also subscribe to the "Big Data Investor" newsletter for weekly investing and trading insights from CNBC using the algorithmic power of Kensho technology.
CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.