McDonald’s to Implement AI for Orders

Will Customers Soon Order Their Burgers from a Robot?

The US chain McDonald’s is ready to take the next step after a trial run. Competitors are also experimenting with the technology.

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being tested in the fast-food industry. For the past two years, McDonald’s has been testing the use of AI for taking orders at over 100 locations. This trial run is now ending, as reported by the trade publication “Restaurant Business” over the weekend, citing a communication to local branches.

However, McDonald’s made it clear that this step, tested in collaboration with the computer giant IBM, is not the end. After the experiences gained from the trials, the company is convinced “that a solution for voice orders in the drive-thru will be part of the future of our restaurants,” emphasized the US corporation to “Restaurant Business.”

Limited Vocabulary

By the end of the year, McDonald’s aims to settle on a technical solution. AI language models are becoming increasingly adept at conducting conversations with humans. For orders in the fast-food industry, speech recognition is particularly suitable because the vocabulary is limited. Generative AI, such as that used by the chatbot ChatGPT, can already formulate sentences at a human-like level.

In December, McDonald’s announced a partnership with Google focused on the use of generative AI, although the details of the deal are still unclear. Competitors like the fast-food chains Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr. are also experimenting with automated acceptance of spoken orders.