Next week you order a Big Mac, ask yourself if you’re talking to a robot or a human. McDonald’s took a step towards automating your ordering process this week, as it acquired artificial intelligence (AI) company Apprente.
The Silicon Valley-based startup was founded in 2017 to create voice-based platforms for “complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering,” which McDonald’s plans to incorporate in its drive thru initially. It’s already been tested at a few restaurants, so maybe you’ve been talking to robots about McFlurries.Â
It hopes to add the technology to its mobile ordering and kiosks later, the company noted.
“Apprente’s gifted team, and the technology they have developed, will form McD Tech Labs, a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said in a release.