Happy, Merry AI-Based Christmas ✨

Article by Rei Morikawa | December 13, 2018

It’s the most beautiful time of the year! The holiday season is in full swing, and with that comes lots and lots of events and gatherings with loved ones. If you still need to go present shopping or plan your holiday events, maybe one of Santa’s little robot helpers can be of assistance. Here are all the ways artificial intelligence is spreading the holiday cheer this year.


Google’s Santa Claus Tracker

Google’s Santa Tracker lets users follow Santa’s path delivering presents around the world on Christmas Eve, since 2004. This year, Google added several new holiday specials to its Santa Tracker. You can spend hours in Santa’s Village playing over 20 fun and educational games, including ones that teach kids to code. One of the new games in 2018 is the elf maker, where users can create their own elf and teach it to dance. The elf maker is powered by a machine learning model called PoseNet which performs real-time human pose estimation in the browser.


AI for Christmas shopping

AI and machine learning technology is woven throughout the online Christmas shopping experience, for example:

  • Search relevance is the measure of how closely a search engine’s results matched your query. For example, let’s pretend you are planning to buy a picture book for your nephew’s Christmas present. You go to Amazon.com and enter “Christmas picture book” in the search bar. Amazon’s search engine has high relevance, so it will probably show you all the products listed as “Christmas picture book.” But if the search engine had low relevance, then it might show you different results that aren’t helpful, perhaps some Christmas tree ornaments, picture frames, or college textbooks.
  • Chatbots for customer service can be embedded in ecommerce sites, or through a third-party messaging platform like Facebook messenger, and Twitter and Instagram’s direct messaging. You as the customer can ask the chatbot the same questions that you would ask a sales representative in person, for example: “I’m looking to buy a new video game for my brother’s Christmas present, which of the recent releases are popular?”

AI and machine learning technology is making online Christmas shopping so easy that much even though vendors expect high volumes of orders around Christmas season, they are still struggling to deliver everyone’s presents by December 25th. In the future, you can expect to see Christmas notifications pop up as early as February or March, as retailers also start to use AI and machine learning in a new way to determine what their customers want for Christmas as early as July. This has the potential to eliminate inventory issues that are currently slowing down delivery times.


Robot Christmas carol composer

Two Christmases ago, researchers from the University of  Toronto trained a recurrent neural network to compose the world’s first AI-generated Christmas carol. The neural network was trained using 100 hours of music and thousands of captioned images. The goal for the neural network was to compose a song when presented with a new picture. Here’s what it came up with when presented with a picture of a Christmas tree.


Instagrammable Christmas family photos

This holiday season, Smart AI filters can add just the right touch of Christmas magic to your family photo. Earlier this month, Skylum, a team of professional photographers and AI enthusiasts, launched Luminar 3, a photo editing software available for Mac and PC. Luminar allows you to enhance photos to have just the right amount of sparkle in the sky and sun rays.


Wishing you a Merry Christmas and prosperous new year from all of us at Lionbridge AI! 


Main image by @lelia_milaya via Twenty20

The Author
Rei Morikawa

Rei writes content for Lionbridge’s website, blog articles, and social media. Born and raised in Tokyo, but also studied abroad in the US. A huge people person, and passionate about long-distance running, traveling, and discovering new music on Spotify.


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