Santa “Techs the Halls” with cutting edge AI to save Christmas

Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Clumsy the Elf announce SantaChatter.com

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Clumsy the Elf announce SantaChatter.com

AI is really exciting technology that works wonderfully with Santa’s particular brand of magic. This is cutting edge.

Thousands of families in dozens of countries are finding the spirit of Christmas at SantaChatter.com. In less than a month, there have been north of 100,000 conversations on the AI-powered website rekindling the magic of Santa. “I haven’t believed in you for two years, but now I know you’re real!” a young, born-again believer messaged back to Santa on the site.

Alan Kerr, the CEO (Christmas Elf Online) at emailSanta.com, created SantaChatter.com, a family-friendly free service to interact with Santa in a COVID-safe way. The website’s underlying Microsoft Cognitive Services (AI) technology was released in “preview mode” just weeks ago. “AI is really exciting technology that works wonderfully with Santa’s particular brand of magic. This is cutting edge,” says Kerr.

Santa’s immediate replies to users on the site are full of images, rhymes, links, stories and perhaps most importantly, Christmas magic and love. The replies build upon 24 years of experience and material from emailSanta.com, and the tens of millions of children’s letters to Santa received over that time.

Nevertheless, SantaChatter.com also deals head-on with today’s tougher issues.

“In 2021, no one is running around shouting with glee. After all, this year, there’s a Santa shortage Claus-tastrophe. Not to mention COVID-19 and children, who Santa, they’re nervous to go see.” says Kerr in a Suessian moment.

Children are asking many questions about COVID and Christmas. “Will you visit if we don’t have our shot?” “Do you have your jabs?” SantaChatter reassures anxious little ones and families in real time that Christmas and Santa will be safe.

The BBB recently reported that some Santa apps steal personal information. SantaChatter.com, instead, actively teaches children about the importance of online safety. Many skeptical children ask if Santa knows their name, where they live or other personal information. The site reminds users that it is never safe to put such information on the Internet. No personal information is required to use either SantaChatter.com or emailSanta.com.

SantaChatter also receives a small but steady stream of messages from children in distress. For everything from bullying to cancer to domestic abuse and beyond, the site directs children to online helplines for assistance. “Children tell Santa things they wouldn’t share with anyone else”, says Kerr. “It is part of SantaChatter and emailSanta’s mission to connect these children to the resources they need to get help.”

AI technology is evolving extremely quickly. With a twinkle in his eye, Kerr hints that there might be some AI surprises on the emailSanta.com Christmas Eve Santa Tracker this year too.

emailSanta.com was created in 1997 when Alan Kerr’s nephew couldn’t send his letter to Santa due to a Canada Post strike. The site quickly went viral and now replies to roughly 1 million missives a year. More information can be found at emailSanta.com.

SantaChatter.com was created in November 2021, using cutting edge AI technology to connect believers of all ages with Santa Claus during the socially-distanced COVID-19 pandemic. The website was an immediate success with its innovative multi-media conversations. SantaChatter.com is part of the emailSanta.com family of websites.

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