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A.I. could produce 'a new sector that we probably don't know about yet,' Nasdaq vice chair says

  • Bruce Aust highlighted self-driving cars as an example of companies utilizing artificial intelligence technology to create an entirely new market

Firms exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) could spawn a completely new sector, the vice chairman of U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq said Tuesday.

"I think AI is really going to be the technology behind a lot of these great companies that provide the innovations that will be a new sector we probably don't know about yet," Bruce Aust told CNBC at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Aust highlighted self-driving cars as an example of companies utilizing AI technology to create an entirely new market.

"You look at autonomous vehicles, things like that, they really do use a lot of artificial intelligence too. So I think we're excited about the early stage companies that are here, and we hope that eventually they'll come to market and list on Nasdaq one day."

The executive said that AI could be "applied to really enhance and modernize a lot of things that we're doing today" and create more jobs, contrary to fears of mass job losses caused by automation of manual labor.

On Monday, physicist Stephen Hawking gave a less optimistic view of the technology. Hawking said that, with the potential of AI, dangers such as autonomous weapons and economic challenges could spell the "worst event in the history of our civilization."