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Meet your new city boss: Joulene, the AI tyrant taking over Joburg’s streets


City Power’s Latest Attempt to Distract from Power Outages: A Feminized AI Chatbot Named Joulene

Johannesburg’s City Power has just launched a new AI chatbot, Joulene, in a desperate bid to distract from the city’s chronic power outages. The chatbot is part of a revamped customer portal that City Power claims will revolutionize the way residents interact with the utility. But will it be enough to fix the real problem – the city’s aging power infrastructure and rampant criminality?

City Power’s CEO, Tshifularo Mashava, claims that Joulene is a symbol of gender diversity and celebrates the contributions of women leaders in the utility. But is this just a shallow attempt to appease critics and distract from the real issues?

Joulene: The AI Chatbot with a Feminine Touch

According to City Power, the name "Joulene" is derived from "joule", the unit of energy, with the added "ne" giving it a feminine touch. This is meant to "personalise" the name and "symbolise gender diversity". But does this tokenistic gesture really do justice to the challenges faced by residents in Johannesburg?

Will Joulene Fix the City’s Power Problems?

The AI chatbot is available on City Power’s website, where users can enter their queries and wait for Joulene to provide an answer. But will this really solve the city’s power outages? City Power is still struggling to keep the lights on in Joburg, and residents are still forced to deal with the consequences of a broken power distribution infrastructure.

A Band-Aid Solution

City Power’s insistence on launching Joulene alongside the relaunch of its customer portal smacks of a band-aid solution to a much deeper problem. Residents deserve better than a chatbot as a substitute for reliable and efficient power supply.

Read Next: The Clickatell Chatbots Era: AI Commerce

For more on the intersection of AI and commerce, check out our latest article on Clickatell’s retooling of its chatbots for the era of "AI commerce".



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