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McDonald's to end AI drive-through test with IBM

McDonald's to end AI drive-through test with IBM
While it is ending the AI drive-through test with IBM, McDonald's said it is not done with AI in its drive-through process.

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McDonald's Ends AI Drive-Through Test with IBM in Over 100 Restaurants

McDonald's is changing its course on artificial intelligence plans, announcing the end of a test run of its AI drive-through technology partnership with IBM in more than 100 restaurants. The so-called Automated Order Taker will be shut off no later than July 26, according to a memo sent to franchisees late last week, obtained by CNBC. The decision comes as McDonald's told CNBC there is a place for AI in its drive-throughs in the future. The global AI partnership began in 2021, aiming to simplify and speed up operations with voice-activated ordering. However, the technology faced challenges, including issues interpreting different accents and dialects, which affected order accuracy. McDonald's is not ruling out potential AI drive-through plans in the future, even though it ended the IBM partnership. IBM also said it will work with McDonald's on "a variety of other projects" as the test ends. While McDonald's AI plans for the future are unclear, all eyes will be on Alphabet's Google, as the company announced a new partnership with Google Cloud. The move comes after speculation that Google could replace IBM as the company's AI vendor. McDonald's declined to comment on the potential partnership with Google, and the company's AI plans remain uncertain.