Sara Millstein

Defining Artificial Intelligence


One of today’s most trending topics is also one of the most poorly understood. Artificial Intelligence is most frequently referenced as ‘AI’. The name itself is ambiguous. Packed with layers of meaning and defined in more ways than one, AI can be open to interpretation that’s potentially unsettling and untrue.

Artificial Intelligence can broadly be defined as a type of computer science, having problem-solving, human-like capabilities. As defined by PWC, AI can take various forms on a spectrum of human and machine collaboration to autonomous action, which lends itself to the complexity of the topic.

Most of us are accustomed to seeing AI come to life in the form of augmented intelligence in fictional movies, with machines and robots thinking autonomously in attempt of world domination. A study by Pega revealed that 70% of consumers surveyed have a fear of AI and 25% fear AI can take over the world. The same survey revealed awareness around today’s more practical uses of AI is low; 84% of consumers surveyed said they were not aware that they use AI-powered services or devices.

Microsoft has shown up as a ‘sage’, who imparts wisdom on those around them. They have proven to be thoughtfully disciplined in educating their audience around AI. This Microsoft commercial is exemplary of how they have approached demystifying AI, creating both excitement around what’s possible and awareness around practical, relevant, business use cases and scenarios. Microsoft is a prime example of how to invite and educate, rather than alienate and confuse, which supports building customer trust and loyalty.

Another example of a brand that leverages it’s brand purpose to build practical meaning into AI is Optum, a health care technology company. Similarly to Microsoft, Optum also takes on the role of a ‘sage’ and tells a story around their data analytics and AI ingredient brand, OptumIQ. OptumIQ not only creates excitement around the possibilities it brings to the industry but elevates collective understanding of how their intelligent solutions guide action for success across the entire health care system.

We are happy to have worked with Microsoft, Optum and Cray, who lead with a purpose that is in service of advancing collective knowledge to transform businesses and industries.

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