ICYMI: McDonald’s Concludes AI Drive-Thru Trials After Alleged Order Errors

ICYMI: McDonald's Concludes AI Drive-Thru Trials After Alleged Order Errors

Call it a boon or bane, artificial intelligence (AI) is gradually taking over the world. Today, you will find extensive use of technology, where human intelligence is being duplicated using machines, speeding up the overall workflow. So much so that the food and hospitality industry is investing hugely in AI for increased efficiency – one such instance being the fast food giant McDonald’s. Over the years, we came across news featuring how the chain is experimenting with technology to speed up its process. However, in a recent development, McDonald’s has reportedly pulled back one of their AI-based pilot projects after repeated errors.

According to a report, McDonald’s has decided to pull back its AI drive-thru voice ordering system on trial at more than 100 restaurants in the United States. The report further states that this step was possibly taken after an alleged complaint by a social media user went viral, featuring the system picking up wrong orders from cars, producing bizarre food combinations and more.


CNBC reports that in a statement, McDonald’s explained discontinuing their partnership with “IBM on AOT (automated order taking)”. “The technology will be shut off in all restaurants currently testing it no later than July 26, 2024,” the statement read, adding that they would be however continuing to utilise other IBM products across the system.

Fox Business weighs in that McDonald’s partnered with IBM in 2021 to commence the AI drive-thru testing to determine if the technology can “simplify operations for crew and create a faster, improved experience”.

Following McDonald’s announcement regarding concluding the AI drive-thru trials, people took to social media to share their thoughts on the use of AI-powered solutions.

“McDonald’s halts its AI drive-thru trial. Over 100 locations are discontinuing the automated order systems. Are AI-powered solutions the future of fast food, or just a passing trend?” a post on social media platform X read.

A comment read, “This is very disappointing on many levels.”

A person wrote, “You can’t just replace everything with AI. Even if you use AI, there should be human intervention.”

Another comment read, “A human touch is still the best option.”


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