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AI-Powered Drive-Thrus

Mcdonald's Announced Plans to Sell Its 'McD Tech Labs' to IBM

— October 29, 2021 — Business
McDonald's recently announced it will be selling its McD Tech Labs to IBM. The deal is part of a larger agreement with IBM to speed up the development and implementation of the fast-food chain's Automated Order Taking technology to create efficient drive-thrus.

The sale aims to leverage IBM's vast experience in artificial intelligence and "accelerate McDonald’s efforts to provide an even more convenient and unique customer and crew experience." IBM plans to enhance the Automated Order Taking technology with additional languages, dialects, and menu variations.

"There are certain times when it may make sense for us to go acquire a technology so that we can accelerate the development of that, make sure that it is bespoke to McDonald's needs." said Chris Kempczinski, the Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's. "But at some point that technology reaches a level of development where I think getting it to a partner who can then blow it out and scale it globally makes more sense."

Image Credit: Shutterstock
Trend Themes
1. AI-driven Drive-thrus - McDonald's sale of its McD Tech Labs to IBM highlights the increasing use of AI-powered Automated Order Taking technology in drive-thrus.
2. Multilingual Voice Recognition - IBM plans to enhance the Automated Order Taking technology with additional languages and dialects, showcasing a growing trend of speech recognition technology being used to cater to diverse customer needs.
3. Outsourcing Proprietary Tech - As McDonald's sells off its Automated Order Taking technology to IBM, companies are increasingly looking to partner with specialized tech companies to scale their capabilities globally.
Industry Implications
1. Fast-food - Companies in the fast-food industry can benefit from incorporating AI-powered technologies to improve the customer experience and streamline operations.
2. Language Technology - The adoption of multilingual voice recognition in Automated Order Taking technology presents opportunities for language technology companies to develop and innovate in the field.
3. Tech Partnerships - As more companies become interested in outsourcing proprietary technology to specialized tech companies, there is an opportunity for tech partnership consultancies to connect these companies with the right partners.
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