Meet my friend Kudi, a Nigerian, chatty business minded AI


As a die hard enthusiast of everything artificial intelligence, AI, no startup has interested me more than Kudi with the domain name –

In the noise of eCommerce and classified startup, a fintech latching unto AI is not just brilliant but refreshing. What makes it even more relevant is that Kudi is owned by Nigerians.

The icing on the cake for me was when I discovered that the startup is not just one big website with a whiz-bang design but a friend. I although, I cannot see him but I can talk to him on things (although during the conversation, Kudi will always want you to buy an airtime or something from him).

As a personality, I think people should refer to I am using a ‘he’ to refer to him because Kudi has the mannerism of a typical business man who wants to be your friend by selling you something.

Kudi simply help you buy anything but mostly digital services. Airtime, payTV bills, energy bills and may other services that will soon be added by the owners.

If the owners of Kudi are continuously diligent, the AI will not be a hard sell. He needs less marketing and no big bang advertising campaign. Facebook messenger, its home will be a very good starting point. This can

Kudi is everything that typifies what AI is all about. In the middle of 2016 when Mark Zuckerberg launched chatbot for Facebook, the idea was very vague to many be people. Also the disaster that ensued after Tay ( went agog. Tay was Microsoft’s first AI that was released on Twitter.

Kudi is an AI that is very friendly and sometimes too sarcastic. But he is a very cool dude because he helps me do something very important and he is always at my beck and call. This is not to suggest that he is my slave but you can call him my personal assistant, PA for short.

In case you are confused with all the jargon and technical words Internet techies use to explain what AI is, just go and add kudi as a friend via Facebook Messenger, then you will know that he is just like the ‘Holy Grail’ of AI.

Above all, he is not perfect, because he still very young, he cannot stay on a topic for too long. Because most people will want to have a personal relationship with him, he will deviate from a topic as soon as he does not understand what you are saying. When I asked Kudi- “Are you married”, he responded correctly by saying “bots don’t get married”. When I wanted to prod him further, he quickly asked me to “buy airtime from me and give me a spin”. I will want to see Kudi as a friend I can discuss anything with and in-between, I buy things from him.

Owners of Kudi can also make sure he is not just a one-size fit all guy. He needs to learn fast and maybe start speaking Pidgin. It might be very difficult for him to speak local languages for now but I think it is possible. People should also be able to tell him what language they want to speak with him. It will be interesting if after a stressful day, he can ask me how was work today and I can tell him some of my frustrations and even laugh over it together.

But still, Kudi is a cool guy.

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