Cathie Wood: ‘Tesla is the biggest AI play out there’

Elon Musk or no Elon Musk, Tesla is the biggest AI game out there. That’s what legendary investor and CEO of Ark Invest, Cathie Wood, said luck editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell at the Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference in San Diego on Wednesday.

That should be good news to bombastic Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who obviously hated AI giant ChatGPT. Last month, he teased plans to create a rival chat bot, called FactGPT, which he says lacks the liberal side of ChatGPT. Musk co-founded OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, but he left in 2018. In December, he accused his former company to “train AI to wake up.” (Now, he says he is regretted his commentsand calls himself a “big idiot” for leaving OpenAI.)

Luckily for Musk, his flagship company, Tesla, is headed for greatness in its own right in Wood’s eyes. Wood’s investment time horizon is five years, and his company is focused on five exponential growth industries. Tesla sits at the intersection of three of these, he said: artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. Wood has boundless enthusiasm for Tesla’s future—which he says will see “explosive growth” regardless of whether or not its CEO stays at the helm.

The Tesla is in pole position (the most advantageous starting position on the track), he explained, thanks to its size. It has more data than all other automotive companies and technology companies that touch transportation — combined. It has 4 million robots, as Wood calls them, on the road, constantly collecting data. Because of its breadth, it has the strongest stake in analyzing “corner cases, exceptions, and what causes accidents,” he said.

Wood, a longtime Tesla investor, has long maintained that the EV giant is headed for the moon. The planned robotaxi fleet rollout will be “one of the most important investment opportunities of our lifetimes,” he said last montharguing that Tesla’s stock will soar 1,100% by 2027. He’s also unfazed by Musk’s antics that have given many of his former supporters pause.

“I think there are people who won’t buy his cars now,” Wood said said Barron in January. “But if he does what we think he will do on the cost side, there will be a lot of people who will use the economy as their guide… Twitter.”

In San Diego on Wednesday, Wood said he believes the autonomous vehicle market will grow “from nothing today to $8 to $10 trillion dollars in revenue by 2030, or thereabouts,” he said. “To put that in perspective, the size of the U.S. economy today is $22 trillion, so we’re talking about one of the biggest growth engines in history.”

“But what would Tesla be without Elon?” Shontell asked.

“I think Elon drove Tesla, certainly the EV part,” Wood replied. “He called Tesla a manufacturer of factories. Already operating. AI and autonomous cars are not there yet; we say that autonomous will start next year.

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