If you have watched the news for five minutes lately, you are no doubt well aware of the shortage of employees numerous businesses are experiencing. Help wanted signs can be seen everywhere with ads all over social media. And in some areas fast food chains such as McDonald’s are getting hit the hardest.
Of course a situation like this calls for out of the box thinking. Ideas that no one has thought of before. So the fact it was McDonald’s who came up with a concept to try and fix the problem is not surprising. This is the same company that pretty much invented fast food as we know it after all.
However, I think it’s safe to assume no one thought that solution would be to take a page out of The Terminator or Matrix films and put the machines in charge. Because according to ZDNet that is exactly what is happening.
They are reporting that at 10 locations in Chicago, McDonald’s has installed AI robots to take your order when you go through the drive-thru. Yes, you read that right. In the Windy City you may give your order for a large Number 4 with a Coke to something that doesn’t have a heartbeat.
It turns out the McDonald’s drive-thru robot is far from perfect.
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While you may be reeling from this new information, it gets even better. We are all aware that it is something of an inevitability that occasionally, your McDonald’s order gets screwed up. It may be missing fries or the wrong Happy Meal, but it happens. More than anyone would prefer.
So you would think that putting the job of taking your order in the metallic hands of a machine would solve the problem, right? Instead of a 15-year-old who barely knows how to shave you get the pinnacle of technology. McRobot ready to do a flawless job.
Only it turns out that McDonald’s is reporting the McRobot only gets your order right about 85 percent of the time. Which means 15 percent of people still get a messed up order.
How is that even possible? I mean, we can put the Perseverance rover on Mars and watch it do all kinds of amazing things but can’t build a robot who knows I want a Big Mac and large fries? Seriously?
For those that are wondering, it turns out we are a long way from every McDonald’s getting a McRobot of their very own. The technology is still in its infancy and there are a lot of financial issues to work out with franchisees before that can happen. And McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski seems realistic about the program.
"“Now there’s a big leap from going to 10 restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the U.S., with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather — and on and on and on.”"
What do you think about all this Guilty Eaters? Would you trust a robot to take your order at McDonald’s? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.