You don’t need a seat on Microsoft’s Senior Leadership team to know that the entire company was given explicit directions to market their products’ artificial intelligence (AI) prowess. The software giant doesn’t miss a chance to tout these capabilities at events and in blog posts and press releases.
On the surface, this focus makes sense: AI, especially to the scale and scope of Microsoft’s operations, is a unique advantage. There are only a very few companies---Google, maybe IBM---that can even hope to effectively compete with Microsoft in this arena. And other erstwhile competitors like Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and whatever smaller players have a long, painful, and expensive road ahead of them if they intend to become serious contenders. In this market, consolidation is guaranteed.