PointSource
A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving with a Twist of AI
PointSource
November 21, 2017

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving with a Twist of AI

This time of year, we spend a lot of time giving thanks for all of the things we’re fortunate to have. At PointSource, We’re thankful to work with great people who have great imaginations and all have a great sense of humor.

We spend a lot of time explaining how AI and cognitive technologies can transform our clients’ businesses today and discussing the practical applications for AI. But today, we’d like to let our imaginations fly and say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”

Norman Rockwell painted the iconic image of an American Thanksgiving. That image doesn’t depict an ideal Thanksgiving for every family. Maybe not even most. Whatever your perfect Thanksgiving may be, what if AI could help you achieve that? How would it and what would that look like? We asked that question to some PointSourcers.

Mandy Steinhardt, Director of Analytics and Digital Engagement

Instead of fumbling around the table for ideas when it’s time to talk about what we are thankful for, I’d rather have my AI assistant remind me. By telling it gradually throughout the year about moments I am grateful for, I can enjoy a recitation before or during my dinner of the special moments throughout the year I had forgotten were so special. Maybe she could even start to see patterns about the things that make me happiest and give me ideas on how to get even more joy and fulfillment out of 2018.

Kristin McPeak, Design Operations Director

AI will help me get the feast onto the table in one well-orchestrated swoop. I’ll feed my mess of recipes for the meal into a system, from Pinterest boards, torn pages from old Cooking Light magazines, and web clips from the New York Times food section, and will receive a master shopping list and invitation to order the things I don’t have on hand from a service like Amazon Prime Now or Instacart. The steps for each recipe will be merged into one master prep plan which I’ll run from a device using a combination of touch and verbal commands on feast day. The system will step me through the prep, offering up quick videos of relevant cooking techniques I might want to reference along the way. The turkey thermometer will be IoT, enabling the system to course correct the entire meal plan based on cooking rate. I’ll give verbal confirmation that a step has been completed which will trigger the next step. The system will recalculate the whole plan if something takes less or more time than anticipated so that the meal ends up done at once. Voila! The plan, with annotations of what needed to be adjusted, will be saved for future use. It will be named something like “Kristin is the hostess with the mostess.”

Paul Smokovitz, Senior Visual Designer

As a family, we always have something going on and running around. On Thanksgiving, I try to not do anything or go anywhere, and just watch movies with our kids. Thanksgiving morning I enjoy making a large breakfast while my wife starts to make food for dinner. The problem we struggle with is not making the same thing year after year, or what movie to watch. Sam I Am, my AI’s name, would help make this day more enjoyable and restful by planning out our Thanksgiving. Sam I Am would plan the meal, order the food, have the food shipped to our house, and set up the movie list. Sam I Am would know what types of meals and movies we like based off previous ratings we made. During the week before Thanksgiving, Sam I Am would remind me to get a certain task done because I would not be allowed to do it on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day Sam I Am would provide the directions for creating breakfast and dinner. Sam I Am would say, “now do this” or “I did not say to do that.” Most importantly, Sam I Am would make sure we relaxed together as a family. It would be great one day to say, “Yes, Sam I am. I am sitting and watching the Detroit Lions game.”

Jenna Trunzo, Project Manager

My AI would handle the communication of invitation, menu coordination and any subsequent change of plans between all the attendees. Thanksgiving should be about sitting around enjoying each other and not being resentful that no one told Aunt Sally that Aunt Clara was already making the pumpkin pie. This year, Uncle Jerry is bringing wife #3 and no one knows her name? No worries… my AI found out and now there is no awkward “Guest” name card at my table. My AI would effectively remove family/friend tensions by serving as the messenger and mediator of all things holiday.

Sean Kennedy, Senior Digital Architect

Who can think of Thanksgiving without also thinking of Black Friday? I certainly can’t and the thoughts aren’t good. Sure, there are deals and if you’re committed there are even steals but I always feel like my preparation compared to that of marketers is like bringing a butter knife to a tank fight. Given I might want to buy this sometime this coming year, is it worth buying it at the Black Friday price just to have it? Yes, that’s a good deal but would my nephew really want that for Christmas? What was that thing that the guy who was next to me on the airplane recommended and is there a deal on it anywhere? My AI will have answers to all those questions. Even better, it’ll have worked out a full market-wide purchase order for me to review. Naturally, it will have taken my budget into account, identified and indicated the reason and usage for each item and flagged all items for which martial consultation is recommended. Once I had reviewed and approved the order, editing it as necessary, it would execute the order without me having to do anything else. This will leave me completely free to burn off all those Thanksgiving calories with a long Black Friday hike.

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