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Nelson Mandela Bay to host major tourism conference: SATSA 2018 Conference

Nelson Mandela Bay to host major tourism conference: SATSA 2018 Conference

L-R: Dewald Nieman, Eastern Cape Chapter Chairperson; Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, Ms Mandlakazi Skefile and SATSA Chief Executive Officer, David Frost at the recent Eastern Cape chapter meeting and conference venue site inspections. Nelson More »

IMF delivers SA a vote of confidence

IMF delivers SA a vote of confidence

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook say the onset of a new political leadership in SA has reduced policy uncertainty The IMF has given SA a vote of confidence, revising its growth projections, but also warned that More »

Gender row sees Mark Lamberti resign as Imperial CEO

Gender row sees Mark Lamberti resign as Imperial CEO

Mark Lamberti has resigned as Imperial CEO‚ following an adverse judgment in the case brought by fired employee Adila Chowan‚ whom he called a “female employment equity candidate”. Imperial has promoted its chief financial officer‚ Osman Arbee‚ More »

Key witness in case against Nigerian pastor shot at in PE

Key witness in case against Nigerian pastor shot at in PE

PAMELLA Mabini, the woman who is one of the key witnesses in the case against a Nigerian pastor charged with human trafficking and the rape of young girls, was threatened and shot More »

Nelson Mandela Bay residents cry out for jobs as IDP and Budget meetings continue

Nelson Mandela Bay residents cry out for jobs as IDP and Budget meetings continue

IDP and Public Participation meetings currently under-way continues to draw crowds hungry for accelerated service delivery, job creation and crime reduction. The meeting held recently held in the Chatty Community Hall was no different. Hundreds of residents More »


Tag Archives: Android

SA’s first human-AI app aims to do what Siri can’t

A South-African world-first hybrid human and artificial intelligence app is aiming to go beyond digital personal assistants answering users’ more complex questions.

Heyjude is the world’s first mobile assistant app backed by humans, assisted by AI with plans to be everyone’s personal assistant.

How it works is through a 700 seat call centre that adds the emotional intelligence element behind the AI.

Unlike AI systems such as Siri or Cortana that can only provide limited response to client requests, Heyjude is not solely relying on AI.

This allows the personal assistant app to source responses and provide only the most relevant feedback to users.

While it won’t provide the most instantaneous responses like Siri, innovation architect and creator of  the app Marcus Smith said that the app aimed to give feedback to requests by users in under 2 minutes.

“The service is never going to be instantaneous but think of it as a concierge service on your smartphone,” Smith told Fin24.

He added that through the service, they were hoping to even assist users in emergency situations.

“For example, if you are in a foreign country and happen to lose your passport, through the service we will assist by contacting an embassy and connecting them with the user,” he said.

Smith said that in the case of medical emergencies, the app would contact relevant health professionals for the users.

The app can be asked almost any question for example prefered routes and methods to travel long distances – the app yields results including travel time, most convenient method, and flight options  in the case there are.

The app is able to find a product or service close by, review a service or product users are considering, organise a meeting or a delivery, book a service, book a restaurant, restaurants or tickets.

The service runs 24 hours a day.

Smith said that core call centre is based in Johannesburg, while the company was setting up offices around the country and in London and New Zealand.

The app has been running after a soft launch in August – seeing 3500 downloads on iOS and Android – while an official launch is planned for February 2017.


Get the most from apps for kids

Young people are now spending more hours on their devices – iPads, phones and computers – than they do sleeping.

Anxious parents will point out how bad this technology obsession is for young people.

Too much screen time has been linked to falling grades, impeded social interaction and a lack of exercise.

But there’s a flip side. Several studies support technology’s positive influence on young users.

It offers exciting opportunities for learning and can strengthen interpersonal relationships.

In the same way that some food is healthy and some is not, some apps are lower in mental fibre than others.

Based on my own research into how students learn with technology, here’s a guide to getting rid of “junk” apps and ensuring your young ones develop healthy tech habits, both in term time and during the school holidays.

From passive to active

The key lies in shifting kids from using apps that make them passive content consumers to those where they are active content producers. Encouraging the use of activating apps can help children to develop a wide range of 21st century skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving.

But before I look at apps that will actively engage kids during school holidays, here are the “apps” you should immediately delete from their lives:

lAPPrehension: feelings of inadequacy caused by social media;

lAPProval: the dangerous pursuit of digital validation through likes and followers;

lAPathy: the increasing desire to passively consume content; and

lAPartness: the isolating danger that technology can cause.

Once these “apps” are deleted, here’s a selection of apps that will not only engage your kids, but help them develop important skills.

I’ve selected a few iOS, Android, and Web-based apps (accessible through a browser on any device) and grouped them according to the skills they will develop.

Activating apps

Curation: Curation apps help kids to develop key skills such as reading, categorising and organising.

lPinterest (iOS, Android, Web): This popular visual pinboard is great for creating collections of images. How about a pinboard of Disney characters?

lLearning Lab (Web): This site, created by the Smithsonian museum, allows kids to curate museum artefacts. (Web): Create fun, shareable lists of websites, videos and more from the web. How about starting with a list of all of the places you want to visit?


There’s a shift from learning through content consumption to learning through conversation around content in online spaces. Conversation-based apps provide opportunities to debate, discuss and enrich relationships.

lMaily (iOS/Android): A parent-controlled app that allows kids to create fun messages with drawings and text.

l Playkids Talk (Android): This instant messaging app is for primary school kids.

With parental permission kids can send instant messages including photos, voice recordings and graphics to one another.


Research shows that one of the most effective ways to learn is through mistakes.

Technology allows us to easily experiment, make mistakes and learn through correction.

lScribblenauts (iOS/Android): Lets kids bring any object to life simply by typing its name.

These objects are then used to solve fun problems.

lKahoot! (Web/iOS/Android): A gamified take on quizzes that makes learning – and mistakes – lots of fun. You can create your own quiz or try one of the thousands already created.

This is a great way to get a group of kids (and adults) learning and laughing together.


Creating content develops key skills such as logic, creative thinking and problem solving.

lBook Creator (Android and iOS) allows kids to create their own books using their own photos, videos and so on. The final book can even be published to the Google Play store or iBooks.

lMonster Physics (iOS): Lets kids build working contraptions using a range of parts like wheels, rockets and magnets. Once the contraption is built kids can test it to see how it works.

lScratch (Web, iOS, Android): One of the most powerful ways to teach kids creative thinking and logic is through programming. MIT’s Scratch environment is designed to let kids learn to programme in an easy, fun way.


Learning to make sense of too much information, missing information, and conflicting information is a skill children increasingly need to develop in our content-excessive world.

lWord clouds (Web) are a great way to distil large amounts of text into fascinating visual representations. Worditout allows kids to easily create a word cloud from any piece of text. How about creating a word cloud of the news, or a famous speech?

lMindmaps are useful to help organise your thinking. Corkulous (iOS) provides a fun corkboard spin on this concept for kids.

lSometimes kids can be overwhelmed or bored by content but they always enjoy cartoons. Rather than reading or watching them, let your kids create cartoons with or animations with How about asking them to create a cartoon that summarises their year?

Keeping track

No matter which apps your kids choose, it’s important to keep track of their use. Research suggests that screen time should be limited, whether young users are consuming “junk” apps or learning while they swipe.

OurPact is a great tool to automate this process.

It allows parents to set usage schedules or turn off a device at any time. — The Conversation

Craig Blewett, a senior lecturer in Education & Technology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, runs the website

l The Conversation is funded by Barclays Africa and nine universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, National University of Science and Technology and the Universities of the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria, Western Cape, Witwatersrand and South Africa.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is
a Strategic Partner.