McDonald’s Ditches AI Drive Thru Experiment, For Now 

In a world where everyone is moving towards AI, McDonald’s experience has been somewhat lackluster. After receiving various customer complaints regarding wrong orders, McDonald’s finally pulled the plug on their AI drive-thru experiment, which they were testing in more than 100 restaurants. McDonald’s was working with IBM to develop and test a new AI system that can take orders and solve customers’ queries regarding orders on the go. Although it is a big setback for AI in the food industry, McDonald’s has said that they are constantly striving to incorporate AI in their process as rivals are making similar investments. 

In a letter shared with CNN, McDonald’s has said, “IBM remains a trusted partner, and we will still utilize many of their products across our global System.” However, the food company has mentioned that it will be looking for partners other than IBM to make its AI dreams come true. 

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McDonald’s and IBM embarked on their partnership in 2021 to develop an “Automated Order taking” technology, or AOT, to make the whole ordering process easy and convenient for customers. Although McDonald’s is seen as a little reluctant about IBM, the tech company believes that the technology that emerged from this partnership will be a game changer in the food industry. 

IBM said in a statement, “While McDonald’s is evaluating and refining its plans for AOT, we look forward to continuing to work with them on a variety of other projects.

McDonald’s isn’t the only fast food chain incorporating AI. Fast food chains like Wendy’s collaborated with Google and launched their AI ordering model in May 2023. As of now, the AI systems in over 100 McDonald’s have been pulled back, and further testing will be needed to deploy them in actual ordering scenarios. 

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