Photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash
He’s making a list and checking it… well… once, because his model has a 98% accuracy
For many, December is a time of great joy. But for one man, it is also a time of great burden. While millions eagerly await the big day, Santa toils in the near total darkness of Lapland, evaluating children and preparing gifts to disperse on an epic all-night voyage across the Earth. Fortunately for Santa, technology has finally caught up to the enormity of his task. Let’s explore some of the machine learning (ML) techniques Santa is starting to employ.
Naughty or nice?
There are an estimated 2.2 billion children on Earth. The fact that Santa has been able to manually conduct such an enormous analysis almost defies belief. Thanks to categorization algorithms, Santa is now able to simply define the parameters for what he deems “naughty” and “nice” and feed the data he has amassed on all the Earth’s children through the algorithm. The result? Almost instantaneous categorization of every naughty and nice child on Earth.
All I want for Christmas is… to know what people really want
Furthermore, Santa uses intent recognition on the OCR output to understand what the letters really mean. For those children who perhaps are not very good at articulating their wishes or are too embarrassed or modest to ask for their most-desired gift, Santa’s intent recognition algorithm can parse wishlists to see past what is said to what is meant.
What of those children that have come out the “nice” side of the naughty-or-nice algorithm but have not had the time to send a letter to Santa due to a demanding school play rehearsal schedule? Well, this was a real sore spot for Santa for a long time, demanding time-consuming research to arrive at the perfect, most thoughtful gift in each instance.
Avoiding Christmas catastrophe
Given the intensity of work conducted over the Christmas period, hardware failures are inevitable. But only recently has Santa been able to deploy computer vision techniques throughout his village to automatically spot faults and failures in critical machinery. This allows Santa to address damage to assembly line conveyor belts and his trusty sleigh, which undergoes extensive testing and improvements in the lead up to Christmas, before it causes real trouble.
Giving the reindeers a rest
All in all, this year is set to be Santa’s most relaxed Christmas yet. Machine learning is now carrying much of Santa’s burden, allowing him more time to socialize with the elves and plan more elaborate ways to spread some Christmas cheer.