McDonalds purchased Apprente Tuesday, as it doubled down on AI investment . The move followed its purchase of another AI firm, Dynamic Yield, earlier in 2019. The idea, reported Wired, is to help speed up drive-thru and get you your Big Mac quicker.
Apprente’s speech-based artificial intelligence deals within the relatively narrow confines of quick-service restaurants. As with Dynamic Yield’s decision engine, which switches up menu items based on what it thinks consumers want at any given time and location, Apprente’s ultimate goal is to increase the speed of any given transaction. Anyone who’s had to repeat their order into a squawking speaker knows that pain. Apprente calls its technology “sound-to-meaning,” in contrast to “speech-to-text.” The distinction, other than having a nice ring to it, is that unlike many voice AI models, Apprente says it does not transcribe what the customer says, and then infer meaning from that transcript. It goes directly from speech signals to result.
Check It Out: McDonalds Purchases AI Firm to Speed up Drive-Thru