The introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 was a sea change for Big Tech, opening the floodgates of both innovation and investment in AI, machine learning, and generative applications.
In September, Amazon became just the latest Big Tech player to enter the generative AI space with their announcement of a $4 billion investment to take a minority stake in AI startup Anthropic, which was founded by former OpenAI employees. Anthropic will develop its own generative AI model, called Claude, using Amazon Web Services for both cloud-computing resources and machine learning hardware for training and deployment. Anthropic’s Claude will offer similar services to Microsoft-backed ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.1
By now, we’ve all heard the statistics about AI spending and how this specific type of technology is expected to change the world.
International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that by 2026, global spending on artificial intelligence will be north of $300 billion, when just two years ago, total spending was less than $100 billion.2
Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Strabag, and Coca-Cola are already harnessing AI to boost efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance security across their manufacturing processes.3 And tech giants are working to incorporate AI into every aspect of the business and their consumer offerings. Apple, for example, is working on an AI-powered health coach called Quartz that will help users improve their fitness, diet, sleep habits, manage health conditions like diabetes, and even give them feedback on their emotional state.4
Projections of consumer spending on generative AI software place the field at $81 billion by 2027—up from $1 billion in 2022.5 PwC suggests that the impact of AI could see global GDP up by 14% over current figures, adding $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.6
Okay—so we’ve heard all of that. We expect all of that. But what is AI doing to change our lives today? What about the novel—even the downright weird—applications of AI that we haven’t heard about but which human creativity has nonetheless found a place for?
Let’s take a look at some of the unexpected and some of the wackier applications for this ground-breaking technology.
The Top 5 Weirdest AI Applications
AI can’t just be all about productivity, right? It’s about pushing the boundaries of imagination, too.
So, what about the wild or downright wackiest applications of AI that show off the best of the human imagination? Here are our ‘Top 5’ weirdest uses of artificial intelligence.
- AI Fortune Tellers: Artist and MIT-trained roboticist Alexander Reben has trained an AI on thousands of inspirational quotes to build an algorithm designed to output generic, fortune cookie-style messages. While he succeeded, even Reben himself concedes that the messages the AI outputs can be “dark” and often “weird.”7
- AI Perfumers: IBM and 220-year-old German fragrance house Symrise have collaborated on an AI called Philyra (Greek for “accompaniment of creation”) to introduce the first AI-designed fragrances to the global market. Philyra uses a giant data set of fragrance formulas, fragrance families (e.g., fruity, flowery, etc.), and historical fragrance trends to create fragrances.8 These can even be micro-targeted, such as the fragrance Philyra designed and Symrise launched in Brazil aimed at Brazilian male millennials.9 IBM and Symrise recently released Philyra 2.0, an upgraded version of their perfumer AI that can now develop fragrances with renewable as well as biodegradable raw materials.10
- AI Toothbrush: Oral-B now offers consumers the Genius X electric toothbrush. Powered by AI, this $220 toothbrush connects to an app on your phone via Bluetooth. The toothbrush comes equipped with a learning algorithm that tracks and adapts to the brushing behaviour of users so it can better help to clean and protect teeth.11
- AI-Powered Beehives: Beewise, an Israeli startup, has used AI to redesign and upgrade the traditional beekeeper’s hive with the goal of saving dwindling bee populations. Beewise’s redesigned hive, dubbed Beehome, includes robotics, computer vision, and AI monitoring to gauge bees’ needs in real time. The company claims their AI-powered hives increase pollination rates and honey production; detect and defend against threats to the colony such as pesticides; thermally regulate the hive for ideal conditions; and protect against fires, floods, and bee predators like wasps and hornets.12
- AI Judges for Beauty Contests: Way back (in AI terms, at least), in 2016, startup Beauty.ai launched the first beauty contest judged by artificial intelligence. Evaluating user-submitted selfies against criteria such as youthfulness, skin quality, and fascial symmetry and proportionality, the AI algorithm aimed to choose the fairest of them all compared against a database of models and actors.13
By reflecting on these intriguing (and sometimes odd) ways AI is being adopted, we hope you’ll be better equipped to embrace AI’s potential while also remaining mindful of its ethical implications.
Investing in FANGMA: The TECH ETF
In the current stock market, it’s hard to ignore the prominence of the FANGMA tech giants. These six influential companies have such a significant impact on advanced technologies and popular consumer services that it’s highly likely you, along with billions of others, use their offerings on a daily basis. However, the soaring share prices of these companies might discourage investors from individually incorporating all of them into their portfolios.
With the Evolve FANGMA Index ETF (TECH ETF), investors gain exposure to all six companies – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft and Apple – for a reasonable unit price.
- Napolitano, E., “Amazon invests $4 billion in Anthropic startup known for ChatGPT rival Claude,” CBS News, September 25, 2023; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anthropic-amazon-4-billion-investment-ai-startup-claude-chatgpt/
- Jyoti, R. & Kuppuswamy, R., “Create More Business Value from Your Organizational Data Embrace Organic Integration of AI across the Business,” IDC, February 2023, https://pages.dataiku.com/report-idc-2023
- Althoff, J., “The era of AI: How the Microsoft Cloud is accelerating AI transformation across industries,” Microsoft, Apr 24, 2023; https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2023/04/24/the-era-of-ai-how-the-microsoft-cloud-is-accelerating-ai-transformation-across-industries/
- Malik, A., “Apple is reportedly developing an AI-powered health coaching service,” TechCrunch, April 25, 2023; https://techcrunch.com/2023/04/25/apple-is-reportedly-developing-an-ai-powered-health-coaching-service/
- Krause, R., “AI Stocks: Tech Giants, Cloud Titans, Chipmakers Battle for An Edge,” Investor’s Business Daily, July 24, 2023; https://www.investors.com/news/technology/artificial-intelligence-stocks/
- “Sizing the prize What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalise?”, PwC, n.d.; https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/analytics/assets/pwc-ai-analysis-sizing-the-prize-report.pdf
- Holley, P., “The bizarre thing that happens when artificial intelligence tells people their fortunes,” The Washington Post, October 15, 2018; https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/10/15/bizarre-thing-that-happened-when-roboticist-trained-ai-tell-someone-their-fortune/
- “Breaking new fragrance ground with Artificial Intelligence (AI): IBM Research and Symrise are working together,” Symrise, October 24, 2018; https://www.symrise.com/newsroom/article/breaking-new-fragrance-ground-with-artificial-intelligence-ai-ibm-research-and-symrise-are-workin/
- Wintermaier, P., “Symrise and IBM: New Fragrances Created by AI,” Harvard Business School digital initiative, December 4, 2019; https://d3.harvard.edu/platform-digit/submission/symrise-and-ibm-new-fragrances-created-by-ai/
- “Makes perfect scents: Symrise presents version 2.0 of its AI Philyra at WPC in Miami,” Symrise, June 29, 2023; https://www.symrise.com/newsroom/article/makes-perfect-scents-symrise-presents-version-20-of-its-ai-philyra-at-wpc-in-miami/
- Peters, J., “Oral-B’s new $220 toothbrush has AI to tell you when you’re brushing poorly,” The Verge, October 19, 2025; https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/10/25/20932250/oral-b-genius-x-connected-toothbrush-ai-artificial-intelligence
- Press, G., “Robotic Beehive Using AI To Save The Bees And Global Food Supply,” Forbes, May 19, 2022; https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2022/05/19/robotic-beehive-using-ai-to-save-the-bees-and-global-food-supply/
- Lubin, G., “Here are the winners of the first beauty contest judged by AI,” Business Insider, August 26, 2016; https://www.businessinsider.com/beauty-contest-judged-by-ai-winners-2016-8