Wendy's, the burger chain, is partnering with Google to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) in Wendy's drive-through windows. The restaurants would use an AI chatbot to take orders. Although AI text chat has been used for many years in online support, using voice AI to interact with humans as they speak, in a live and time-sensitive setting, is an exciting twist on the use of AI.
Why It Matters
Apart from the obvious implications for jobs and quality of service, the use of AI in this business setting is particularly interesting. AI works via machine learning: the more data the platform ingests, the smarter and better it's supposed to get. Given Google's mind-blowing expertise in advertising and data monetization, we mere mortals can probably only guess at the behind-the-scenes use of drive-through data in the Google universe, nor at the ways the Wendy's AI will get smarter when powered by Google. There are also potential privacy implications to using a robot that presumably has to record voice and other customer data in order to keep learning.