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What is the Turing test and what does it have to do with robotics stocks?

By James Dennin for Kapitall.

Alan Turing is probably the most important person you've never heard of.

During WWII he was responsible for the division of British Intelligence that first cracked German codes, which allowed the Allies to turn the tide and win the war.

He then went on to become the father of modern computer science and artificial intelligence. He coined the term "machine intelligence" and formalized the concepts for "algorithm" and "computation."

His so-called "Turing test," was developed in 1950, and proposed a solution to the question, how can a machine be considered intelligent? In the test, a human user engages simultaneously in two conversations, one with a computer and one with another human, and then has to guess which is which.

If the human guesses wrong, the computer passes the test. This weekend, with a 33% selection rate, a Russian chatbot became the first computer ever to do so .

There are some caveats of course. The chatbot is modeled on a teenager, which made designing the program behind it a lot easier. (Teenagers have less life experience and are heavily swayed by peers, making their behavior a bit more predictable than fully-formed adults.)

Still, the breakthrough is one that's been pursued by thousands of programmers over the course of almost 60 years. Could more breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence be on the horizon?

We decided to assemble a list of robotics stocks that can leverage major advances in artificial intelligence and assembled them here. Now that the Turing test has been bested, will that translate to future success amongst companies in robotics and automation? Use the list below to begin your analysis and let us know what you think in the comments.

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time.

1. ABB Ltd. ( ABB , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Provides power and automation technologies for utility and industrial customers worldwide. Market cap at $54.45B, most recent closing price at $23.77.

ABB is one of the world's leading suppliers of industrial robots .

2. Adept Technology Inc. ( ADEP , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Market cap at $157.93M, most recent closing price at $12.15.

ADEP works in the robotics industry and their latest initiatives are focused on robots with autonomous mobility that provide fully automated, point-to-point and direct movement of goods to transform conventional material handling vehicles into mobile robots.

3. AeroVironment, Inc. ( AVAV , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Designs, develops, produces, and supports unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and efficient energy systems for various industries and governmental agencies. Market cap at $744.41M, most recent closing price at $33.42.

AVAV focuses on empowering the 21st Century warfighter with their integrated and interoperable family of small unmanned aircraft systems.

4. Elbit Systems Ltd. ( ESLT , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and integration of defense systems and products worldwide. Market cap at $2.74B, most recent closing price at $63.51.

Operates primarily in the defense and homeland security arena.

5. iRobot Corporation ( IRBT , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Designs and builds robots for the consumer, government, and industrial markets. Market cap at $1.09B, most recent closing price at $35.43.

Designs robots primarily for the consumer markets.

6. Raytheon Co. ( RTN , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Provides electronics, mission systems integration, and other capabilities in the areas of sensing, effects, and command, control, communications, and intelligence systems, as well as mission support services in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $30.83B, most recent closing price at $98.78.

Raytheon deals a lot with automation across most of their businesses .

(List compiled by James Dennin. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research.)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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