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Curro Hazeldean learners develop tutoring AI-powered WhatsApp chatbot

Two brothers, Siyanda (16) and Siyabulela Ndlovu (10), from Curro Hazeldean have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create SiyaTutor, a groundbreaking WhatsApp-based tutorbot that is changing the face of education.

The idea for SiyaTutor sprouted from the frustration faced by Siyanda and Siyabulela, who were grappling with their school assignments without the support of readily available help.

Living with their busy father, the dynamic duo decided to take matters into their own hands and craft a solution to help, not just themselves, but other pupils in similar situations.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, Siyanda said since they spent most of their time on WhatsApp, they decided it would be the ideal platform for their tutorbot.

The brothers started their ambitious project six months ago, diligently working towards perfecting their innovative creation.

He said using his 10-year-old brother’s school robotics knowledge, coupled with their father’s assistance and help from their father’s tech-savvy colleagues, along with several hours of watching AI YouTube videos, they were able to piece together the elements that culminated in SiyaTutor’s success.

A month ago, Siyanda said SiyaTutor became operational, and within just two weeks of its public launch, it has already garnered 15 000 users.

Siyanda said what sets SiyaTutor apart is its artificial intelligence-based foundation.

SiyaTutor offers a personalised learning experience to each user. It answers your questions related to schoolwork and it gets to know you the more you interact with it.

Siyanda explained that the system draws its knowledge from a server that holds information relevant to the South African curriculum, ensuring that all information it passes to users is accurate and aligned with educational standards.

The teenager said, like many other South Africans, they were only recently introduced to the concept of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT but were curious to find out more about it and use it to their advantage.

Siyanda said the reception from users has been “wonderful”, with both schoolmates and family members wholeheartedly embracing the innovative platform.

Although SiyaTutor is currently accessible free, the brothers plan to introduce a subscription fee of R49,99 per month.

The revenue generated will allow them to continue refining and expanding the capabilities of the tutorbot to benefit a wider audience.

Despite their remarkable achievements, Siyanda and Siyabulela remain humble and committed to their vision.

The brothers themselves now also use the chatbot to assist with their own academics.

Watch the Newzroom Africa interview here.