McDonald’s, long-hailed as the king of fast food, is finding the transition to an AI drive-thru more difficult than expected. The AI was developed by McD Tech Labs, a part of the fast-food conglomerate, in partnership with IBM.
The company acquired Apprente, a company that develops AI conversational agents, in 2019 and began testing the technology in 10 locations in Chicago in June 2021. The AI has experienced lower accuracy rates than the 95% the company desired, with results in the low 80% range.
However, McDonald’s is not alone in this mission as Panera, Popeyes, Checkers, and Wendy’s have all tested voice recognition artificial intelligence, but McDonald’s appears to be struggling to catch up.
While AI has been underwhelming in other areas, the fast food industry is a new challenge.
Videos posted to TikTok have highlighted the difficulties customers have been having with the AI, in some cases, human employees have to take over to rectify the situation, leading McDonald’s to re-evaluate their technology.