McDonalds has just gobbled up its second AI up start up in the last 6 months.
In March they purchased Dynamic Yield, an AI company focused on omni channel personalisation. The thinking is that they are looking to personalise menus based on current weather conditions & other external factors that may influence peoples orders at the kiosk.
Yesterday they announced they were aquiring Apprente, an AI company that specialises in voice recognition & coversational bots.
If you visit Apprente.com now you are presented with the following:
“We’re excited to announce that Apprente has entered into an agreement to be acquired by McDonald’s Corporation.
It’s been an incredible journey. We launched Apprente in 2017 with a mission to build the world’s best voice-based conversational system that delivers a human-level customer service experience. Order taking for drive-thrus at Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) quickly emerged as a fantastic use-case for our proprietary AI technology. We’ve spent the past couple of years tackling this challenging real-world task, and along the way, we developed novel machine learning and speech understanding technologies, culminating in an industry-leading, robust and scalable solution.
From early on, it was clear to us that McDonald’s is truly committed to technology innovation and that it was on a mission to spearhead the QSR industry. In partnership with McDonald’s, we set out to deliver a customer-focused solution, all while building a great team and culture. We were fortunate to have achieved all of these goals. We are particularly excited to be the founding members of a new, integrated, internal group within McDonald’s Global Technology team called McD Tech Labs, which we believe could lead to a growing presence in Silicon Valley, providing the company with optimal support for voice-based technology.
We will be sharing more about our exciting work in the coming months.
Onwards and upwards,
Itamar Arel and Moshe Looks”
McDonalds are putting the pieces together to create a smooth, efficient & personalised smart drive thru experience.
A few weeks ago I observed they were queuing off the main road to place their orders at the drive thru, the need is certainly real in East Grinstead.
Some highlights from this weeks deeplearning.ai newsletter around the fast food industry:
• In China, Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, says 50 percent of transactions take place via app or kiosk.
• Zume Pizza of California uses robots to form dough, spread sauce, and bake the resulting pies. Humans place toppings.
• At Spyce in Boston, customers order and pay by kiosk, and a machine mixes their grain-based meals. Human prep cooks par-bake rice, chop veggies, and reduce sauces.
The Fast Food arms race is on.