Artificial intelligence is allowing us all to consider surprising new ways to simplify the lives of our customers. As a product developer, your central focus is always on the customer. But new problems can arise when the specific solution under development helps one customer while alienating others. We tend to think of AI as an incredible dream assistant to our lives and business operations, when that's not always the case. Designers of new AI services should consider in what ways and for whom might these services be annoying, burdensome or problematic, and whether it involves the direct customer or others who are intertwined with the customer.
WASHINGTON - Blacksburg was already well prepared when the U.S. government announced in April that the Virginia town would be home to the country's first commercial drone delivery service. Virginia Tech University, based in Blacksburg, has for years hosted a major drone development program, which has carried out experimental deliveries of ice cream, fast food and more. "I moved (to Blacksburg) last August, and when I was telling people I was moving, they said, 'I know somebody there had their Chipotle (Mexican restaurant chain) delivered by drone!' " said Megan Duncan, a communications professor at Virginia Tech. So, when Wing became the first drone company to be approved as an air carrier by the federal government, allowing the Google parent company Alphabet Inc. to start drone deliveries in and around Blacksburg, many of the locals were excited, Duncan said. "I think there's superinteresting possibilities for remote areas that are underserved, particularly with people who need prescriptions and can't make a 45-minute drive," she said by phone.
Domino's could be putting some of its delivery drivers out of a job this year by rolling out a new wave of robot delivery vehicles in Texas. The robot vehicles, made by the well-funded autonomous driving startup, Nuro, are entirely self-driving and can cart their cargo -- in this case Domino's pizza -- via in-unit storage. Once the robot arrives at its destination, customers must meet the vehicle and use a special pin provided to them upon ordering to unlock the hatch and collect their delivery. Domino's will take the next step in autonomous delivery by partnering with Nuro to deliver pizzas via robot cars. Silicon Valley-based startup, Nuro, will partner with Domino's Pizza to deliver in Houston, Texas.
Fox News Flash top headlines for June 17 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Domino's plans to test pizza delivery using fully autonomous vehicles in Houston. The world's biggest pizza company is teaming up with Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup that makes unmanned delivery vehicles. Nuro is also partners with Kroger Co.
San Francisco restaurants like Creator are leaning on automation to create low cost food. This could be an issue for humans as robots take over jobs. Domino's is taking a new autonomous delivery partnership for a spin. The pizza chain announced Monday it is teaming with robotics company Nuro for a pilot program in Houston later this year. Nuro has developed a custom unmanned vehicle, called the R2, for delivering goods including food and dry cleaning.
Automation of services has picked up its fastest pace by now, giving users the much needed facility to fulfill their regular tasks. With advanced systems powered by automated solutions, users can now book a restaurant reservation, order a pizza, book a movie ticket, hotel room and even make a clinic appointment. Customer service industry is gaining much momentum especially due to disruption of Artificial Intelligence – a technological breakthrough that has taken almost every business industry by storm. By transforming customer service interactions, AI-powered digital solutions are prepared to improve every aspect of your business including online customer experience, loyalty, brand reputation, preventive assistance and even generation of revenue streams. Digital market moguls project that by 2020 more than 85% of all customer support communications will be conducted without engaging any customer service representatives.
As you might expect, putting a robot into the busy back of house of a fast food restaurant isn't as easy as just setting it in front of the grill and plugging it in. That's because restaurants are a complex mix of workflows, equipment and, yes, people, so automating a busy kitchen with robotics requires lots of planning. For this podcast, we talk with two people building the future of restaurant robots: Shawn Lange, the head of Lab2Fab (a division of Middleby) and David Zito, the CEO of Miso Robotics (the company behind Flippy, the burger flipping robot). You can listen to the podcast by clicking play below, downloading it directly or listening on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast player.
Today, customer exchanges with Alexa are generally either one-shot requests, like "Alexa, what's the weather?", or interactions that require multiple requests to complete more complex tasks. An Alexa customer planning a family movie night out, for example, must interact independently with multiple skills to find a list of local theaters playing a particular movie, identify a restaurant near one of them, and then purchase movie tickets, book a table, and perhaps order a ride. The cognitive burden of carrying information across skills -- such as time, number of people, and location -- rests with the customer. "We envision a world where customers will converse more naturally with Alexa: seamlessly transitioning between skills, asking questions, making choices, and speaking the same way they would with a friend, family member, or co-worker," says Rohit Prasad, Alexa vice president and head scientist. "Our objective is to shift the cognitive burden from the customer to Alexa."
After enjoying years of steady growth, your business suddenly sees your customer satisfaction scores sinking. When you investigate, you find that your customer support team is simply not keeping up with the volume of requests that they're receiving. Customers have to wait two or more days for a first response, and they're voicing their discontent in growing numbers on social media. You don't have enough money in the budget to hire and train more support staff, so the only realistic solution is to use AI and automation. Which use cases should you try to automate, and which tools should you use?
This article in Forbes is a marketing coup for the Presto Front-of-House solution which is used as the only example where AI manages restaurant activity, including order taking and validation, a smartwatch that delivers real-time updates and prompts to staff when guests need assistance and claims to deploy surveys and predictive modeling that drives additional visits and hence more business. A careful reading however suggests that the application of machine learning is limited to data analytics and does not directly orchestrate the restaurant's operations: "'In an industry known for tight profit margins, restaurant owners and operators need to make smart business choices. With more restaurateurs turning to technology to manage their teams and operations, the Presto platform helps operators make data-driven decisions,' Suri says. Presto's Server Assistant is a handheld product that is integrated to POS and kitchen display units. It increases productivity and reduces errors by allowing servers to take and send orders directly to the kitchen. Presto Wearables is a smartwatch-type device worn by staff that provides real-time updates and prompts by notifying servers when guests need assistance or a manager's attention. 'Presto A.I. leverages highly granular transaction data, customer segmentation and a large volume of integrated customer surveys to provide actionable recommendations and predictive modeling to boost business,' Suri explains. PrestoPrime EMV System is a guest-facing tabletop technology platform that offers the ability to view and select from a digital menu, play interactive games, provide feedback and pay at the table with virtually any payment card or mobile payment system. 'The PrestoPrime EMV System is installed and operational in thousands of restaurant locations nationwide including brands like Applebee's, Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse. The PrestoPrime platform has a proven ROI, as restaurants using the device have seen an increase in table turns and check size. More than 90% of guests that used the Presto System said it improved their dining experience and 81% noted the system would increase their likelihood to return to the restaurant again, according to research studies conducted in partnership with Cornell University and a major dining chain,' Suri shares. Presto's new wearables speed up service and help operators improve customer satisfaction by enabling servers to respond faster when guests need assistance like requesting another drink or other important operational alerts like when the kitchen is ready with food orders. The device can even alert servers about customer-specific information such as birthdays, food allergies and loyalty status."