McDonald’s is planning to use AI voice recognition technology instead of human servers in some of its US restaurants.
The fast-food chain has just acquired Apprente, a start-up that specialises in voice-based, conversational technology, after trialling its solutions in a small number of restaurants.
Silicon Valley-based Apprente was founded in 2017 to create voice-based platforms for complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering.
This technology is expected to allow for faster, simpler and more accurate order taking at McDonald’s Drive Thrus. In the future, it may also be incorporated into mobile ordering and kiosks.
The Apprente team will now form McD Tech Labs to help “take our culture of innovation one step further“, said Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s. The company also intends to hire additional engineers, data scientists and other advanced technology experts.
In April, McDonald’s acquired Dynamic Yield and its personalisation and decision logic technology has now been deployed in over 8,000 restaurants in the US, with plans to integrate it into nearly all Drive Thrus in the US and Australia by the end of 2019.
McDonald’s said it will utilise Dynamic Yield’s decision technology to provide a more personalised customer experience by varying outdoor digital menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. The technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections.
The burger giant also invested in mobile customer engagement company Plexure earlier this year to further advance the development of its mobile app.
Download your free copy of our Next-generation connectivity report to learn more about how companies in five key sectors are preparing for the adoption of advanced technologies and next-generation internet connectivity.