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The Best Artificial Intelligence Stocks of 2019 -- and The Top AI Stock for 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) -- the capability of a machine to mimic human thinking and behavior -- is one of the biggest growth trends today. Spending on AI systems will increase by more than two and a half times between 2019 and 2023, from $37.5 billion to $97.9 billion, for a compound annual growth rate of 28.4%, according to estimates by research firm IDC.

There are two broad ways you can get exposure to the AI space: With this background in mind, let's look at which AI stocks are performing the best so far this year (through Nov. 25) and which one is my choice for best AI stock for 2020.  Image source: Getty Images.

Graphics processing unit (GPU) specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), e-commerce and cloud computing service titan Amazon, computer software and cloud computer service giant Microsoft, Google parent and cloud computing service provider Alphabet, old technology guard and multifaceted AI player IBM, and Micron Technology, which makes computer memory chips and related storage products, would best be put in the first category above.

iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), social media leader Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), video-streaming king Netflix, and Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service provider, would best be categorized in the second group since they're either primarily or solely using AI to improve their products and services.  Now let's look at some basic stats for the three best performers of this group.  Data sources: YCharts (returns) and Yahoo!

It's the best of these three stocks for more conservative investors, as it has a great long-term track record and pays a modest dividend. NVIDIA, however, is probably the better choice for growth-oriented investors who are comfortable with a moderate risk level.

It can be done in data centers or 'at the edge' -- meaning at the location of the machine or device that's collecting the data.)  NVIDIA is in the relatively early stages of profiting from many gigantic growth trends, including AI, esports, driverless vehicles, virtual reality (VR), smart cities, drones, and more.

The Motley Fool recommends Intel and recommends the following options: long January 2020 $200 calls on IBM, short January 2020 $200 puts on IBM, long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2020 $155 calls on IBM, and short January 2020 $50 calls on Intel.

The Best Artificial Intelligence Stocks of 2019 -- and The Top AI Stock for 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) -- the capability of a machine to mimic human thinking and behavior -- is one of the biggest growth trends today. Spending on AI systems will increase by more than two and a half times between 2019 and 2023, from $37.5 billion to $97.9 billion, for a compound annual growth rate of 28.4%, according to estimates by research firm IDC.

There are two broad ways you can get exposure to the AI space: With this background in mind, let's look at which AI stocks are performing the best so far this year (through Nov. 25) and which one is my choice for best AI stock for 2020.  The following chart isn't meant to be all-inclusive, as that would be impossible, and the chart has limits on the number of metrics.

Graphics processing unit (GPU) specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), e-commerce and cloud computing service titan Amazon, computer software and cloud computer service giant Microsoft, Google parent and cloud computing service provider Alphabet, old technology guard and multifaceted AI player IBM, and Micron Technology, which makes computer memory chips and related storage products, would best be put in the first category above.

iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), social media leader Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), video-streaming king Netflix, and Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service provider, would best be categorized in the second group since they're either primarily or solely using AI to improve their products and services.  Now let's look at some basic stats for the three best performers of this group.  Data sources: YCharts (returns) and Yahoo!