AI will power the stock market for the next decade: former Cisco CEO

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, at the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting in New York.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Artificial intelligence will power the stock market for the next decade, former Cisco CEO John Chambers told CNBC on Wednesday.

Chambers, who is also the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, said that AI will not only determine the winners and losers of the tech sector, but that shares related to the technology will likely outperform non-AI stocks about three to one on returns.

“AI will power the stock market for the next decade,” Chambers told CNBC’s Karen Tso on the sidelines of the VivaTech conference in Paris.

“I think the overall question if you’re an investor and you an invest in a portfolio of AI stocks, and [if] you did it consistently over the next five to 10 years, you’re going to do very well.”

Chambers said 38% of venture capital in the U.S. in the first quarter went into AI stocks. He expects that to increase to “way over” 50%, while assessing that 12% of venture capital went into AI stocks in Europe over the first-quarter period.

AI chipmaker Nvidia has seen its stock soar fivefold since the end of 2022. after more than doubling in 2023. The jump in demand for AI-related products has prompted much of the firm’s rally.

Chambers compared Nvidia’s place in the AI market to Cisco’s position in the internet market. “If you watch Nvidia’s sales, that’s going to be very indicative of what’s occurring overall,” he said.

Maurice Lévy, chairman of Publicis, stressed that an AI “transformation” will take place, as the technology undoubtedly eliminates some jobs, while at the same time creating more value-added roles.

“We don’t expect to see a net negative, we expect to see a net positive,” Lévy told CNBC on Wednesday. “And the companies that will adopt AI, the earlier they will do it, the more they will grow, and the more they will create jobs with really some great added value.”

AI is 'undoubtedly killing some jobs,' Publicis chairman Maurice Lévy says

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose to fresh record highs on Tuesday, as investors await earnings from Nvidia. The Nasdaq Composite has climbed around 12% this year.

“AI is the reason the stock market has moved so dramatically in the last 12 months,” Chambers said. “The European stocks and FTSE were slower to move, but they’ve been positive the last six months.”

“I think AI will be like the internet, except three to five times more powerful. It will change your life in every way.”

– Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.

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