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McDonald’s Stops Testing AI for Drive-Thru Orders

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McDonald’s is stopping its AI drive-thru order program for now. If an AI chatbot at your local McDonald’s has been messing up your orders, there’s good news: the company is ending this test. By July 26th, 2024, McDonald’s will stop using the AI system it has been trying out in over 100 restaurants since 2021, in partnership with IBM.

McDonald’s hasn’t said exactly why it’s ending this deal with IBM. The company wanted to see if the AI chatbot could make service faster. Despite ending the test, McDonald’s believes voice-ordering will be part of their future.

There might be a new option with Google, announced last December. Google is working with Wendy’s on a similar AI drive-thru system. Other fast-food chains are also exploring AI. For example, White Castle is testing AI from SoundHound, and Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s use an AI drive-thru chatbot that often relies on remote human workers in the Philippines.

McDonald’s is also using other technologies to automate tasks. These include mobile ordering, in-store kiosks, drone deliveries, kitchen robots, and AI tools for hiring.

Source: theverge