Could 2023 be the year these ASX AI stocks come roaring back?

Some very deep pockets are funding artificial intelligence programs to learn and improve their functionality without intervention from their human creators.

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ASX artificial intelligence (AI) stocks haven't had a great run over the past 12 months.

To say the least.

Atop some company-specific issues, AI companies came under selling pressure as global interest rates shot up from historic lows to combat fast-rising inflation.

That's because ASX AI stocks, like the three we look at below, are priced with future earnings growth in mind. And as interest rates ratchet up, so too does the present cost of investing in those future earnings.

So, after a rough 2022, could 2023 be the year these ASX AI stocks come roaring back?

Tailwinds ahead?

As well as potentially seeing their share prices gain from increasing revenue, stronger forward guidance, or technology improvements within their business models, ASX AI stocks could receive some helpful tailwinds on several fronts.

First, as mentioned, interest rates.

Should inflation in Australia and the developed world cool down, we could see the RBA and other global central banks pause their current tightening cycle and even begin to lower rates. That would offer a welcome boost to growth shares, like ASX AI stocks.

Second, we have ChatGPT and Bard.

You've probably been reading about ChatGPT, or are even making use of it.

ChatGPT is a product of OpenAI, which is largely backed by global tech powerhouse Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT). And it can write essays and text on a wide range of subjects, spurring a huge amount of media attention.

Then there's Bard, a chatbot with similar goals developed by Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG), or Google to you and me.

Like ChatGPT, Bard is designed to learn and improve its functionality without intervention from its human creators.

Both systems, backed by trillion-dollar companies, already have impressive capabilities. And as the rivalry between Google and Microsoft in this space heats up, funding and research into ramping up those capabilities is likely to soar.

That, alongside the buzz this is likely to create among investors, could well help ASX AI shares turn their fortunes around in 2023.

How have these three ASX AI stocks been performing?

Among the ASX AI stocks investors can consider is Bigtincan Holdings Ltd (ASX: BTH). The company provides an AI-powered, online sales enablement platform.

The Bigtincan share price, as you can see below, has been on a bit of a rollercoaster over the past 12 months, a ride that's left shares down 38%.

2023 has been tracking somewhat better for the stock, with shares flat in the new year.

The next ASX AI stock in our crosshairs is AI data services company Appen Ltd (ASX: APX).

The Appen share price was a strong performer in 2023. At last close on Friday, shares were up 33% year to date.

A big part of those gains were delivered over the last four trading days of the week just past. That surge looks like it may have been driven by investor exuberance surrounding ChatGPT.

But after the company reported this morning that it expects to recognise a non-cash, pre-tax impairment charge of $204 million, investors are hitting the sell button, sending shares down 13.55% in intraday trading so far.

As you can see in the graph below, the Appen share price is down 66% over 12 months, but still remains up a healthy 15% in 2023.

Which brings us to our third ASX AI share, BrainChip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN).

BrainChip is involved in developing neuromorphic computing, a branch of AI that simulates the function of the human neuron.

And like the other two tech stocks above, the BrainChip share price, pictured below, has gotten hammered over the past 12 months, down 58%,

So far, 2023 hasn't been much kinder to shareholders, with the ASX AI share down 18% year to date.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Alphabet, Appen, Bigtincan, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bigtincan. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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