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·         McDonald's Announced Its Third Tech Deal This Year

·         You might be talking to robots at McDonald's drive-thrus soon



McDonald's Announced Its Third Tech Deal This Year


Eliza Carter, MorningBrew 

September 10, 2019


McDonald’s announced its third tech deal of the year yesterday when it agreed to acquire Apprente, a voice AI company McDonald’s hopes will make its drive-thru as smooth and convenient as a maple syrup delivery app. The financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Apprente’s tech directly translates speech to meaning, skipping the transcribing part that other “speech-to-text” AI relies on. McDonald’s has already been testing it in select restaurants, so...that may have been a robot taking your Filet-O-Fish order. 


McDonald’s Web Services may not be far off: McDonald’s is gunning to be the tech-savviest fast food spot in the strip mall. Earlier this year it spent a reported $300+ million buying Dynamic Yield, a personalized data startup.


·         Apprente’s staff will be the founding members of McD Tech Labs, a Silicon Valley-based group focused on innovation. First step: repairing the ice cream machines.


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You might be talking to robots at McDonald's drive-thrus soon

The fast-food restaurant is adding artificial intelligence to its ordering process.


By Sean Keane, C|Net  

September 11, 2019


Next time you order a Big Mac, ask yourself if you're talking to a robot or a human. McDonald's this week took a step toward automating how it handles your order when it acquired artificial intelligence company Apprente.


The Silicon Valley-based startup was founded in 2017 to create voice-based platforms for "complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering," which McDonald's plans to incorporate in its drive-thrus initially. The system has already been tested at a few restaurants, so maybe you've been talking to robots about McFlurries.


McDonald's said it hopes to add the technology to its mobile ordering and kiosks later.


"Apprente's gifted team, and the technology they have developed, will form McD Tech Labs, a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further," Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's president and CEO, said in a release.


The fast-food giant previously acquired Dynamic Yield...