These 3 stocks are smart bets on the artificial intelligence revolution

“Artificial intelligence” is a misunderstood term, thanks in part to dystopian views of the technology across pop culture — from the iconic Terminator to Cylons in Battlestar Galactica to HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In reality, most scientists working on artificial intelligence aren’t trying to simulate true human intelligence at all. They are simply trying to create practical machines capable of analyzing data and making decisions to achieve a goal.

Case in point —

CRM, +0.78%

  has a valuable artificial intelligence application called Einstein that it provides to clients. This AI engine helps marketing and sales teams by suggesting which customers are the most valuable, and which products they are most likely to buy.

Not only is that a far-less sinister example of AI, it’s also exemplary of how businesses can use this technology to create serious profits. Salesforce stock, for example, is up 40% year-to-date compared with less than 15% for the broader S&P 500

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In fact, the most practical applications of artificial intelligence are side-by-side with Big Data and cloud-computing applications that many investors are already familiar with. Think of artificial intelligence as just the natural next step now that we’ve created all this data — something has to…

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