SA startup Hey Jude launches personal assistant app

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South African startup Hey Jude has launched a personal assistant app that connects users with tasks that need completing with real people – the Judes – to undertake them.

Hey Jude is a subscription-based service that uses a message-based interface to link users via text or voice message with Judes.

Requests, such as food delivery, restaurant reservations and gift searching, are then completed by vetted suppliers and payment is facilitated through the app.

“You want to find out where the best bistro is? They will let you know. Then make the reservation and give you directions. Simple. Oh, you’ve just remembered the mother-in-law’s birthday, so you need a bouquet of flowers delivered. The geyser bursts and you need to find a plumber, but want a few quotes before giving the go-ahead. They will sort it. Your favourite rock group is hitting the town. They’ll pay for the tickets and get them to you. The list goes on and on,” Hey Jude said.

The app’s secure, encrypted commerce platform allows users to load their card and supply transaction instructions, and the Judes will settle your expenses for a nominal fee of five per cent on each transaction.

“The thing that sets this app apart is that the Judes are real people – not machines – that use the power of technology, their own local knowledge, and a bit of flare to get your tasks done – it’s the perfect mash up of emotional aptitude and artificial intelligence. I was underwhelmed by the promise of bots like Siri and Amazon’s Alexa and the actual user experience,” said Hey Jude developer, Marcus Smith. Tthere might be a time when machines will be able do all these things, but until then we are filling in the blanks with a blended AI-human solution.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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