An entire generation we call Millennials gets all their wisdom from Google. Parents were early on tossed aside by this generation that has abandoned faith, changed the rules of work, is increasingly frugal and entirely stubborn in their own knowledge and technical awareness.
So it is only fitting that their children replace them with the artificial intelligence of both Alexa and Siri.
Amazon, the maker of Alexa is anticipating the flow of tough questions from today’s kids. After consulting with child psychologists and other experts (note they do not say “parents”) Alexa is now prepared with answers to calm the hearts of youngsters the world over.
For Christmas lovers this means just one thing: Yes, Alexa believes in Santa Claus.
If a kid today asks if Santa Claus is real Alexa will respond: “Just check if the cookies you set out for him are gone Christmas morning.”
That non-committal answer gives parents a collective sigh of relief. That is a far better answer than what Alexa says to adults if they ask the same question. To adults, Alexa says, “Santa makes a lot of people ho-ho-hopeful for a happy holiday, and I definitely believe in that.”
As a kid, I’d feel pretty good about Santa. As an adult, I swear Alexa belongs in Washington.
How Amazon decides who is a kid or who is an adult is definitely up to parents. There is programming that parents can control that will allow Alexa to switch gears, just by recognition of voices. But parents still have to flip the switch.
Even still, this whole idea of artificial intelligence makes me increasingly uncomfortable. Alexa is, at the end of the day, a thing. You plug it in. That means some day you will throw it out or recycle it. What happens to all that “knowledge” and “wisdom” then that Alexa provides? And where then will modern generations turn to when they inevitably ask, “Am I on the naughty list?”
So, kids: let your Uncle Frank here dispense with some old fashion knowledge for you: when it comes to Christmas, and especially Santa Claus, unplug the old Alexa. Don’t ask her. Don’t ask Google either. Stay completely away from Norad.
Heck, even ignore your friends and siblings.
Trust your Christmas instincts. Let the question and debates of Santa Claus rage alone within your mind. You will, by the sheer force of nature, see soon enough of the reality of Santa. You won’t need a machine or artificial intelligence of any type, as long as your heart is right.
L. Frank Bomb is a former children's writer who specialized in fantasy. According to his publisher Frank "just lost it" after a series of successful books and short stories. He took a lengthy sabbatical, writing on obituaries in Hackensack, for several years before attempting a comeback which failed. Mr. Bomb now writes for Christmas Weekly on crime, corruption and the mystery of Santa's naughty list.
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