AI is all around us or so the story goes. One thing is for certain: Artificial Intelligence is rapidly becoming embedded into every aspect of our lives. Many may not even be aware of the impact that AI has on almost every aspect of our day, from social media algorithms, to autocorrect, programming a wash cycle, or even asking an assistant to play relaxing music. AI has very much enmeshed itself into our daily activities.
I started to think about all of the ways in which AI is helping businesses become more productive. For instance, AI is embedded in our products such as the TASKalfa series which uses AI to enhance low resolution print data and smooth pixelated images as well as analysing handwritten notes in documents.
Kyocera has developed an AI-powered night vision system for self-driving vehicles, that uses AI to identify collision-risk objects in low-visibility driving conditions, such as at night, or in rain, snow or smoke. Made me think that this would help Rudolph guide Santa’s sleigh far more safely especially on a cold foggy Christmas night.
It also made me wonder how Santa Claus might exploit AI? Could he better power or enhance the phenomenal work he does on Christmas Eve delivering toys to children all around the world? He is said to accomplish this with the aid of Christmas elves, who make the toys in his North Pole workshop, and with the aid of flying reindeer who pull his sleigh through the air. Could AI make their jobs less arduous and repetitive perhaps?
Most of us imagine Santa Claus at his North Pole workshop readying his reindeer for the big night. We rarely think of Santa Claus as a CEO. But that’s exactly what he is – he leads a complex business heading up a manufacturing and distribution business, with a unique just-in-time fulfilment operation with just one delivery vehicle. Impressive! His mission is to bring joy to the children of the world on a specific day of the year, in less than 24 hours. What could go wrong?
So how could Santa use AI to achieve his mission and reduce risk. Hop onto the sleigh next to me and we will find out… mince pies, a carrot and a tot of sherry will be served at our final destination. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.
Santa Claus has been a symbol of joy and generosity for centuries, embodying the spirit of love and giving during the holiday season. His mission, whether in folklore or reality, remains the same: to bring smiles to children’s faces by delivering gifts to the deserving.
With the assistance of AI, it seems to me that Santa Claus could take his mission to a new level, making his deliveries more efficient, sustainable, and personalised and ensuring that he operates a zero-trust environment to keep parent and children’s data safe.
Here’s how I thought Santa might utilise AI to fulfil his role:
AI can help Santa maintain a more comprehensive “naughty or nice” list by considering a child’s overall behaviour, not just their recent actions. This nuanced approach would provide a more accurate reflection of a child’s character, ensuring fairness in gift allocation. Advanced algorithms will analyse data from letters, emails, or online wish lists to provide gift recommendations, ensuring each present is a cherished delight.
Santa Claus would obviously take data privacy seriously. With AI, he can employ advanced encryption techniques and secure cloud storage to protect children’s personal information and preferences. This reinforces trust and safeguards the holiday spirit.
Santa can use AI to predict emerging toy trends and popular items, enabling him to stock-up on the most desired gifts in advance. This reduces the likelihood of disappointed children and helps to fulfil their wishes more effectively not to mention leave Santa with redundant stock on the 26th of December. AI inventory management systems will ensure Santa’s workshop is always well-stocked with the necessary materials. By optimising his supply chain and production schedules, Santa can ensure that he never faces running out of the season’s “must have toy” as happened with Buzz Lightyear, the Ninja Turtles or Furbys.
AI can help Santa’s workshop become even more energy efficient and sustainable by monitoring real-time energy usage, identifying peak energy periods, reducing wastage, predicting renewable energy patterns, tracking his carbon reindeer pawprints and optimising equipment maintenance.
Solar power is already helping remote Arctic communities transition to green energy. So it’s conceivable that Kyocera’s advanced solar technology could power Santa’s workshop. Applied AI in this context could predict energy production accurately and improve system performance, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
AI-driven process optimisation could streamline the elves’ production line andSanta’s sleigh could benefit from an AI-integrated propulsion system which would optimise rocket performance through analysing sensor data and monitoring engine parameters. By applying AI to the propulsion system management, Santa would improve thrust and increase payload capacity, alleviating the pressure on Dancer, Prancer and his other seven reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Santa Clause is coming to town and he is using AI to optimise his route planning, just like we do on a daily basis through our GPS navigation systems.
His global journey requires precise logistics to reach every household in a single night. So it strikes me that AI will optimise his route by factoring in weather conditions to avoid severe storms, taking advantage of favourable tail winds and Santa’s individual trip preferences. With AI’s real-time data analysis, Santa can minimise travel time and reduce his environmental impact.
AI can help Santa adapt to the diverse needs of children around the world, enhancing his ability to reach every household in a single night and bring smiles to children's faces, ultimately making their festivities more magical.
As the holiday spirit continues to evolve, Santa Claus's use of AI serves as a heart-warming reminder that innovation can amplify the joy of giving, uniting us in the spirit of love and generosity during the most wonderful time of the year.
How will you use AI in 2024?
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.