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"McDonald’s to test run AI-powered drive-thru windows that don’t need employees to take orders.
(Natural News) In another move designed to reduce shrink its workforce and save on labor expenses, McDonald’s is testing out its artificial intelligence-driven drive-thrus at 10 locations in Chicago. In these locations, workers will no longer be taking down the drive-thru orders of customers. A computer will do it instead, according to McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski.
On Wednesday, June 2, Kempczinski spoke at the Strategic Decisions conference of investment firm Alliance Bernstein. He said the A.I. drive-thrus are seeing about 85 percent order accuracy. The remaining 15 percent of orders at the automated windows cannot be jotted down by the voice-ordering technology and still require human intervention. If the implementation of the technology is successful, Kempczinski said it could be rolled out to locations across the world. This move would deprive thousands of employees of stable, good-paying jobs.
But Kempczinski said the technology will take more than one or two years to test run and successfully implement. No decision has yet been made on whether the A.I. tech would be installed at other restaurants across the United States. “Now there’s a big leap from going to 10 restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the U.S., with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather – and on and on and on,” he explained. One other challenge Kempczinski pointed out was properly training employees to stop themselves from jumping in to help take down drive-thru orders.
McDonald’s voice-ordering technology was built by Apprente. Acquired by McDonald’s in 2019, Apprente focuses on the research and development of A.I. speech-driven technology. (Related: McDonald’s acquires machine-learning startup to develop personalized menus using AI.) The fast-food giant is venturing into A.I.-powered drive-thrus because it believes it can reduce customer wait times. The automated drive-thru windows can also supposedly help in-store workers transition between shifts.
Chris Albrecht, writing for food tech news website The Spoon , speculated that if the rollout of the A.I. drive-thrus is successful, it could be tied in with other automated systems in the restaurant. These future automated systems could remember a customer’s purchasing history to automatically make recommendations. The company is also looking to add other automated features to its drive-thru windows, including express lanes for digital orders and conveyor belts that carry food out to customers.
“With improved understanding accuracy, a restaurant would no longer need a dedicate person to take (or confirm) a drive-thru order,” wrote Albrecht. He adds that this might free up more McDonald’s staff to expedite orders or do more customer service work. In reality, the full rollout of automated drive-thru windows could be used as an excuse for massive layoffs. In addition to automating the drive-thru window, the company is also looking to fully automate other parts of its restaurant".
Hvis vaksinepasset innføres i alle land hvor McDonalds et etablert, kan en AI drive-thru kreve et vaksinepass for å servere maten, også inne i restauranten. Dette kan tvinge mange til å ta vaksinen selv om de egentlig vil reservere seg. For når for eksempel barna maser om å spise på McDonalds kan mange spesielt aleneforeldre gi etter for presset.