Economics/Class Relations

McDonald’s Replaces Drive-Thru Human Workers With Siri-Like AI

By Dan Robitzski, Futurism

Next time you hit up a McDonald’s drive-thru, you might find yourself leaning out your window to bark your order to a robot rather than a pimply teenager.

The fast food giant has been testing out a Siri-like voice-recognition system at ten drive-thru locations in Chicago, CEO Chris Kempczinski revealed during a Wednesday investor conference attended by Nation’s Restaurant News. The system can handle about 80 percent of the orders that come its way and fills them with about 85 percent accuracy — probably annoying for the customers who just want to drive off with their burger — but Kempczinski says a national rollout could happen in as soon as five years.

It raises some interesting questions about the role that AI technology will play in various industries and, more importantly, the seemingly endless debate over whether raising the minimum wage to a livable salary will motivate CEOs to replace humans with machines — or whether they’d do so to cut costs anyway.

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