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City envy: we want a quirky bus chatbot like Singapore


In Singapore, there’s an app for everything – even getting someone to queue for you at your favourite hawker stall. But no app has caught on like Bus Uncle, an AI chatbot that helps commuters around the island by providing bus timings via Facebook Messenger.

The secret of his cult appeal: he doesn’t just give you the info, he’s a quirky character who communicates in chatty Singlish, Singapore’s colloquial form of English. (The London version might be if TfL’s TravelBot spoke fluent cockney.) Powered by the natural language processing tool, Bus Uncle also makes bad dad (well, uncle) jokes and has recently become quite the fortune-teller. Sometimes he even nudges you for a chitchat out of the blue. He’s the AI travel hero we all need to make our commutes a little more bearable.

Want more travel inspo? Here are the coolest events on earth in 2019.

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