Frequently Asked Questions 

Tell Me More Lucy!

Looking to learn more about Lucy? The following FAQs answer some of the most commonly asked questions about her. If you don't find what you are looking for, just ask us at

What is Lucy?

Named for the daughter of IBM’s Thomas Watson, Jr. Lucy, is a cloud-based supercomputer powered by IBM Watson. Lucy supplements the work of the marketer, in every area, because she’s a cognitive problem solver. Whether it be product development, determining market segments, doing competitive or market analysis, media planning, writing a marketing plan, developing a marketing strategy, creating organic content — Lucy’s assistance helps with every task. 


Who is Lucy designed for?

Lucy is for Fortune 1000 brand marketers and the agencies (advertising and media) that service them.


How does Lucy work?

Lucy is capable of analyzing more data in one day than most marketing teams can digest in a month to present informed predictions. She can be asked questions just like you’d ask questions of another member of the marketing team (“Who buys Tesla cars?” for example). With her as an assistant, marketers can get the simple parts of their jobs done faster and more thoroughly, giving them more time for complex, higher-level tasks.


Why can’t companies do a different kind of search for the answers instead of asking Lucy?

A Google search only returns information publically available on the internet, so it will not access a company’s own data. But even so, most companies can’t access all of the high-quality data they own, have commissioned or license. Within a company, high-quality data is often isolated in silos—for example, different departments like media buying, internet search, etc. or different brand managers in the same corporation might have commissioned their own reports and generated their own research. More so, 80 percent of all data is outside of traditional databases or “unstructured,” found in news articles, research reports, social media posts and other forms of enterprise system data.


Where does Lucy get her data from?

Users can “feed” Lucy data through a manual data load or via API connections to incorporate proprietary data such as Nielsen, Media Ocean, Kantar, Ipsos, Omniture, etc. or social media information from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.


How does Lucy answer questions?

Lucy is trained in natural language processing – she understands grammar and context, comprehends complex questions and evaluates all possible meanings.

  • Lucy searches millions of documents in massive repositories to find thousands of possible answers;
  • Collects evidence and uses a scoring algorithm to rate the quality of this evidence;
  • Ranks all possible answers based on the score of its supporting evidence;
  • Presents one or a few of the best answers.

Lucy might return either structured or unstructured answers and will offer suggestions as to what other question might be relevant or fall into that domain. Lucy will cite the source of her answer and provide a link back to the source.

In addition, Lucy provides a confidence score for all her responses, which are prioritized with the highest scores on top. Users can provide feedback on Lucy’s responses to let her know if they are relevant or not, enabling Lucy to improve at everything she does.


What if Lucy can’t find the answer?

Lucy doesn’t just give up— she continues working on the problem overnight and will curate the information source where the data resides to make sure it’s added to Lucy (if the answer is out there).  Lucy sends a message when she finally gets you the answer.


How does Lucy help media planners?

Lucy creates a “Media Model Mix” that will allow marketers to take full advantage of Lucy’s understanding of the market segmentation and allocate resources where they can have the greatest impact. For every type of media recommended, she returns charts and solicits feedback to allow user customization.


How does Lucy assist with segmentation?

Lucy crafts finely-drawn portraits of customers that give marketers a deep understanding of the target audience. She begins by taking a small set of broad audience attributes obtained from preliminary research – such as geographic location, age, income and gender – and then hunts for individuals who share those traits. Lucy takes a close look at the footprint of these individuals and pulls together a persona for each of them. She will offer her marketing partners a composite view of the audience segment, and an analysis of the primary archetypes, which allows the type of message used to reach them to be highly tailored to their specific qualities.


When will customers be able to use Lucy?

Lucy is currently in beta testing at several media companies and corporations, most notably IBM and Havas. Lucy will be available this spring.


What is Watson?

Watson is IBM’s natural language cognitive computing service (that's the current term for artificial intelligence), which famously defeated Ken Jennings on Jeopardy in 2011. Watson represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. With the help of Watson, organizations are leveraging cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.


What is Equals 3?

Founded by serial entrepreneurs Scott Litman, Dan Mallin and Marc Dispensa, Equals 3 creates advertising and marketing solutions leveraging the cognitive computing power of IBM’s Watson. Equals 3 believes in the power of “Man-Machine Symbiosis,” the idea that an individual can benefit from the power of technology to be stronger than the individual and stronger than the technology alone. Our brand reflects the belief: Lucy + you = 3.


Tell me more about “You + Lucy = 3”

Cognitive computing delivers the best results when both the person and the computer work together. Each side has its strengths. Machines can sort tremendous amounts of data, recognize patterns, create reference materials and data visualizations and suggest alternative courses of inquiry. Humans receive this data, combine it with their own knowledge and intuition and make decisions. As IBM did with Watson in healthcare, we are doing the same thing in marketing with Lucy – providing her with knowledge and training to be a great member of the team.


Who are the founders of Equals 3?

From the early days of the Internet and the first websites, to business portals of the dot com era to the latest generation of 1:1 marketing — integrating sales, service and marketing — Dan Mallin and Scott Litman have a broad history of building businesses that help organizations, including Fortune 1000 marketers and large ad agencies, take advantage of cutting-edge digital transformation. Together, the two have grown and sold four businesses and built forward-thinking ad tech platforms that are still in use day-to-day by some of the world’s largest brands, agencies and media firms. 

Marc Dispensa invents tech solutions that give marketing and advertising agencies a competitive digital edge. He’s a visionary serial entrepreneur with a track record of bringing new ideas to life, growing emerging companies to a position of strength, and enhancing the businesses of both clients and the agencies that serve them. Besides his business leadership and innovative mind, Dispensa also has technology know-how. He has architected and developed ad tech platforms that integrate with MediaOcean, AppNexus and Google digital ad products to drive efficiencies across the media buying and selling process for some of the world’s biggest brands.


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