What could come next to cap off this most unusual year?
An AI Santa Claus?
That's right. The team at the AI Foundation have put out a rather interesting use case of their technology to allow kids and families a way to talk to Santa, without having to deal with COVID for an in person session with the big man.
Per the limited information on their website, they state that:
Scrap the letter to Santa this year and video chat with the big man instead! He can play games, read you a bedtime story, listen to what you want for Christmas and so much more! 100% of SantaTime profits will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
With apps on both Google Play and Apple, I was able to make the $1 purchase / donation and give it a whirl.
Since I have no children and this is a kids app, I decided to pretend like I was a 5 year old child and had a wonderful time with SantaTime. It was a pretty incredible experience when he said my name and then we had an open dialog experience about what I wanted (a bike).
The digital Santa can do much more I soon found out after going through your typical sit on Santa's lap conversation. From singing to playing games, I was quite impressed with how jolly they made him and the realism to the entire experience (albeit a slight delay here and there).
The trivia was a lot harder than anticipated, so I transitioned to my adult self and still failed at answering his tough holiday questions. All in all, it was a very neat experience.
Nonetheless, I asked Santa about current events and other things to which he knew nothing. Needless to say, the singularity although it may be nearer... is still quite far away.