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McDonald’s will stop testing AI to take drive-thru orders, for now

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A McDonald’s in Pittsburgh. | Photo: Paul Weaver / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

If your local McDonald’s has been getting your order confidently wrong with an AI chatbot at the drive-thru, I have good news for you: The company is ending the program for now. The company told franchisees that it’s winding down an AI drive-thru ordering partnership with IBM “no later than July 26th, 2024,” according to trade publication Restaurant Business.

The company will reportedly remove the tech from the over 100 restaurants it’s been testing the system in after partnering with IBM in 2021. It’s not clear why the company is ending the IBM deal, though. It told Restaurant Business it was testing whether the voice ordering chatbot could speed up service and that the test left it confident “that a voice-ordering solution for…

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