McDonalds quashes AI drive-throughs

Viral videos show AI mixing up food orders

McDonalds quashes AI drive-throughs

McDonald’s is nixing its AI (artificial intelligence) drive-through technology at more than 100 restaurants across the country, after a series of viral order boo-boos, including order fumbling and mix-ups, which annoyed patrons.

McDonald’s will discontinue the test run of the Automated Order Taker (AOT) – an AI-assisted ordering program developed and implemented in 2021, in partnership with IBM – on July 26, according to a memo released by management, reported by Global News.

“While there have been successes to date, we feel there is an opportunity to explore voice ordering solutions more broadly,” Mason Smoot, chief restaurant officer for McDonald’s USA, said in a statement. “After a thoughtful review, McDonald’s has decided to end our current partnership with IBM on AOT and the technology will be shut off in all restaurants currently testing it no later than July 26, 2024.”

Viral videos of AI mixups

According to Global News, many customers found it difficult to order using McDonald’s AI-powered drive-thru. Annoyed customers even recorded their experiences and shared them on social media, where they went viral. In those videos, viewers can see hungry customers becoming more and more frustrated with the AOT as it added unnecessary items to simple orders, like ketchup and butter packets paired with ice cream.

There is also one video where the AI order-taking machine has added hundreds of dollars’ worth of chicken nuggets to the order.

According to McDonald’s, its primary goal for the test run is to “determine if automated voice ordering could speed service and simplify operations.” The company, nonetheless, said that it will “continue to evaluate” its plans (with AI) to make “an informed decision on a future voice ordering solution by the end of the year,” says the article.

IBM, on the other hand, is still hopeful that they can still partner with the fast food chain for other projects.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment below.

Recent articles & video

SHRM removes ‘equity’ from DEI program ‘to address flaws’

Where are the best countries for work-life balance?

CEO goes on 6-nation tour to recruit talent: report

China leads in generative AI adoption worldwide

Most Read Articles

1 in 2 employers to adopt AI in automating employees' tasks: survey

Sack the weak?

Engineer fired for objecting to DEI training: reports