Wednesday, January 5, 2022

In an op-ed published in the Globe and Mail, Dec. 22, 2021, Arthur Cockfield, an associate dean and professor with Queen’s University’s Faculty of Law and Faculty of Law Professor Benjamin Alarie, Osler Chair in Business Law and CEO of Blue J, an AI company that helps lawyers, write about the future of AI: 

When we were children, there was something that troubled us about the story of Santa Claus and his mission: How could Santa possibly know whether each child was naughty or nice? Before dispensing presents or lumps of coal, Santa must somehow judge millions of children each year, maybe hundreds of millions. How was this possible?

Now, as adults, we suspect the truth: Santa must have been an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) – a data-analysis approach by which a computer can think and learn like a human.

Through surveillance, AI and big data collection and analytics, we believe Santa could monitor children throughout the year and gather reams of data concerning their behaviour – whether they pulled the tail of a cat, or played nice and shared a cookie with a friend. Then Santa would have an algorithm assess this data before the machine would spit out a final verdict for each child: naughty or nice. Armed with this answer, Santa would then follow through with either presents or coal.

Read the full op-ed at the Globe and Mail