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.