Would you let Artificial Intelligence run Christmas?

Olivia Brookhouse    20 December, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are transforming the workplace, providing real time insights to optimize decision making. Meanwhile at home, AI embedded home devices and online applications can accurately predict our wants and needs, assisting in many daily tasks. So, we want to put Artificial Intelligence to the test, to reduce some of the stress on Christmas Day. From choosing presents, to generating innovative recipes to writing new Christmas songs, AI has it covered. The question is, would you let Artificial Intelligence make the decisions for you this Christmas?

AI, the present giver

One of the hardest tasks is finding the perfect gift for someone without letting your own likes and interests cloud your judgement. How many times have you received the “perfect gift” but could never imagine yourself using or wearing it? We have found a solution.

There are hundreds of websites that attempt to select the most appropriate presents based on personality type and the results are scarily accurate. Giftgen provides many options to external websites so that you can find and buy presents very easily. Do you think a machine knows our friends better than we do?

AI, the chef

AI is not just assisting choose presents, but to cook too. The BBC collaborated with 2 teams of Computer Scientists to see how AI could reinvent Christmas dinner recipes. The team from the University of Stanford had previously developed an innovative algorithm for their app which created exciting recipes from left-overs in your fridge. The other team of scientists, from the University of Illinois, had already developed a similar algorithm. Their neural network was capable of creating a recipe using the ingredients of a dish but in the style of another cuisine. The two teams combined their expertise for the Christmas period.

The deep neural network was fed thousands of recipes to learn various concepts such as grilling and chopping. The system is then able to make connections between the actions and the food produced, but the teams did not want the machine to simply replicate previous recipes so they built a reward system which trained the system to invent a creative new recipe. The neural network was able to produce some interesting recipe ideas:

  • Turkey croquettes
  • Spanish tortilla casserole
  • Zabaglione brown bread
  • Spiced apple crust
  • Toffee wine spaghetti

Whilst it created some unique and creative ideas, some seem more appetizing than others.

AI, the singer

Redpepper, a creative agency in the US, decided to feed 230 Christmas Songs to a Neural Network to produce a truly unique Christmas song. The old classics of Last Christmas by Wham, Do they Know it’s Christmas? by Band Aid and All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey can get anyone singing but the AI rendition might be less successful.

AI, the perfect helper

We visited the North Pole to see how Santa has turned to Big Data and AI to revolutionize some of his processes:

The Xmas Chatbot was launched earlier this year which can simulate a realistic conversation with Santa to discuss literally anything. With Natural Language Processing (NLP), the AI powered Chatbot can understand, respond and become more intuitive as more interactions occur. The Big Data generated by conversations generates real time analytics to drive decision-making, allowing better customer profiling and demand forecasting. The Xmas Chatbot has a built in Christmas spirit calculator with incorporated ‘naughty or nice’ parameters to prioritize certain children.

The Intelligent list reader uses NLP technology to analyse hundreds of lists in seconds to identify key patterns. The two systems generate 100’s of metrics which can intelligently segment the population and generate the most accurate present choices. The AI present selection strategy permits intelligent demand forecasting to minimize waste and maximise customer satisfaction.

A chat with Santa

Why did you feel it was vital for The North Pole to undergo a digital transformation?

Santa Claus, CEO at The North Pole

“With Christmas spirit at an all-time low and customer satisfaction proving harder to achieve each year, we turned to AI and Big Data to revolutionize the present selection processes and achieve an omni-channel personalisation.”

Were you experiencing problems with previous methods?

“The long supply chain from present selection, production, quality control to sleigh meant that presents had to be chosen months before the big day to ensure production was not overstressed in the weeks before Christmas. This meant that the head present team had to predict what kids want before they even wrote their Christmas list. That’s why we have started using the Xmas Chatbot and the Intelligent list reader.”

How do you think the new AI powered systems will help optimize processes at The North Pole?

Simply, the new digital methods will allow intelligent present prediction to maximise customer satisfaction therefore boost belief. The north pole is no ho ho ho exception to the digital transformation.

Santa Claus, CEO at The North Pole

The North Pole is looking to digitalize all processes by 2025. They have invested in IOT devices to track sleigh routes and reindeer performance this Christmas. IOT sensors will send precise information back to base to allow the design of smart routes next year.

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