McDonald’s hopes voice-based AI company’s tech can help improve ordering

McDonald’s has acquired Apprente, an artificial intelligence speech technology startup.

  • McDonald’s says it hopes to use Apprente’s technology to help improve and speed up ordering at its drive thrus.
  • Drive thrus typically rely on customers dictating their orders into a microphone while employees listen to the order and enter it into the POS system, which in turn spits out tickets for the kitchen to know what to prepare.
  • However, it’s a long running “first world problem” that drive through microphones and speakers are notoriously painful for both the order taker and customer.
  • Presumably, McDonald’s is hoping that artificial intelligence can help “interpret” orders and get them into the system faster and more accurately.
  • There’s no word if the technology can be trained to understand orders yelled from the passenger seat over screaming kids, barking dogs and street noise.
  • The terms of the deal were not released.
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