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Insights Insights
| 1 minute read

McDonald's to Remove Test AI Ordering Systems from Restaurants This Summer

Although it says that AI ordering systems remain part of the company's plans, McDonald's is removing test technology from 100 stores mid-summer.  The company did not explain the move, but the fast food industry has faced loud criticism and mockery for everything from outsourcing jobs to faulty decisions and interactions that form the basis of social media videos.  


There is no doubt that AI is here to stay.  Any organization that wants to deploy it, however, needs to understand that the technology currently has a lot of drawbacks.  The problems it can create may be merely funny (like adding the wrong condiments to a customer order), or very serious if the AI is used in any critical decision-making processes.  Analyzing the risk the AI poses is a key part of emerging AI laws and regulations; embedding that risk measurement process is now a best practice when it comes to use of AI in commercial settings.  If the risks to humans are low – they get 100 ketchup packets, for example – you may have more leeway to test and experiment with an AI than if it is helping students prep for a test or making decisions about insurance coverage.  

The fast-food industry’s growing affinity for AI comes as companies see the technology as a means of replacing human workers to reduce rising labor costs. After California passed a new mandatory minimum wage law for fast-food workers, businesses rushed towards implementing AI technologies that could perform tasks such as taking customer orders. While companies have touted AI as the future of the fast-food industry, these technologies have also resulted in viral videos and media coverage documenting when they get orders wrong. McDonald’s drive-thru AI failures circulated on TikTok last year after several videos purported to show the system adding erroneous items like butter packets or multiplying how many items were ordered


data security and privacy, hill_mitzi, insights, ai and blockchain