Restaurants


Tech helps drive better customer engagement

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While technology was involved in less than 50% of customer experience (CX) projects in the past, now it is involved in almost two-thirds of these types of initiatives. This is according to Don Scheibenreif, distinguished VP analyst within the customer experience research group at Gartner, commenting on the evolution of customer experience over the last 10 years. With technology, many organisations are realising it's not enough to have a good customer service department or marketing department, they are thinking about the whole experience a client goes through, stated Scheibenreif. He pointed to the fact that an airline can now offer customers 10 different ways to interact with it via technology, something that was not around five years ago. "Technology is providing companies more choices to interact with the customer. Software vendors are also responding to those needs by creating things like data warehouses for customer data. There are more intelligent case management systems that figure out the next customer actions, as well as interactive and predictive e-commerce platforms. "A lot of the technology has evolved to provide companies many more options to engage with customers and even potentially predict what they will do next." The distinguished VP analyst added Gartner believes companies like Starbucks, Domino's Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel and BMW have found value in using technology. "These are organisations that actively study customer behaviour, they understand customer journeys and they are very strategic in their use of technology to create an overall experience," he said. This week, Gartner hosted its annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Cape Town, where CIOs and senior IT executives heard about the technology and trends shaping the future of IT and business, including how firms cannot grow their business if they don't give customers great experiences. For Gartner, Scheibenreif said, CX is the sum of either the one-off or cumulative interactions that a person would have with a company, whether it's through employees, physical location or the company Web site. When you put all of those interactions together, that is the customer experience. Mapping out the customer journey, the Gartner analyst said it started from customer service. "It was basically improving interactions on the phone, first-call resolution and being able to provide a personalised experience.


What can businesses do to help reduce AI bias?

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Such is its meteoric rise, that its adoption among businesses increased by 60% between 2017 and 2018. Despite the obvious potential, recent events have exposed how automated systems can both intentionally and unintentionally lead to bias. For example, accidental bias was identified in cases where algorithms manage digital ads for STEM roles. With this trend only expected to accelerate, it is critical that the risk of bias is recognised and addressed. While AI bias is creeping into the business world, a recent UNESCO report provided more concerning findings, revealing that voice-activated assistants with female voices such as Amazon's Alexa instil views of gender subservience.


McDonald's acquires AI tech company Apprente

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Technology is becoming an increasingly important investment for the fast food chain, especially since it can help improve drive-thru times and labor costs, two areas the company has been working to improve. McDonald's previously said it was testing voice-activated drive-thrus and must have liked the results to pursue an acquisition. It is also testing automated deep-fryers that cut down on labor in the kitchen. With this latest acquisition, McDonald's is securing its place as a tech leader within the fast food space. It previously bought Dynamic Yield for $300 million earlier this year and has since deployed the company's decision technology at the drive-thru at 8,000 restaurants in the U.S. and plans to reach just about all drive-thrus in the U.S. and Australia by the end of the year.


Artificial Intelligence Is About To Transform The Restaurant Industry

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Some are loathing its emergence. Others can't wait to see what it will do for the future of business. Perhaps you've already heard about how it's going to affect manufacturing, healthcare and retail. But did you know that there are massive implications for the restaurant industry as well? The best time to get started with AI is now.


McDonald's (MCD) Acquires Startup to Add Artificial Intelligence to Its Drive-Through Restaurants - Crypto Mak

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McDonald's (MCD) is one of the oldest and most popular fast food restaurant chains in the world and as with any other establishments that have been around as long, the company is constantly seeking ways to improve its service and the experience it gives customers. The 79-year-old restaurant has now announced the acquisition of Apprente, in a bid to improve its service using automated voice commands. Founded in 2017, Apprente is a Silicon Valley startup which focuses on the use of artificial intelligence to analyze and improve orders placed via a drive-through. Proper use of this technology could significantly improve McDonald's service by reducing service time considerably. If all goes according to plan, McDonald's hopes to also apply Apprente's technology to orders placed using the company's mobile app as well as its order kiosks.


Just an utterly cool (and bizarre) Bangalore restaurant operated by robots

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Robots have taken over the city and are now serving food and drinks. This is not a script out of a sci-fi Bollywood movie--Robot in Bangalore is located in Indiranagar's high street 100 feet road, with 3500-square-feet space and a seating capacity of 118. As the name suggests, the restaurant has a team of six robots--one usher is stationed at the reception and five bearers serve food to the diners. Just like humans, these five robot servers have a name--Alice, Ramya, Zoey, Sansa and Arya. The guests, who visit the restaurant for the first time, can allow the Usher [robot at the reception] to scan their retina and feed their name along with other details in the system.


Just an utterly cool (and bizarre) Bangalore restaurant operated by robots

#artificialintelligence

Robots have taken over the city and are now serving food and drinks. This is not a script out of a sci-fi Bollywood movie--Robot in Bangalore is located in Indiranagar's high street 100 feet road, with 3500-square-feet space and a seating capacity of 118. As the name suggests, the restaurant has a team of six robots--one usher is stationed at the reception and five bearers serve food to the diners. Just like humans, these five robot servers have a name--Alice, Ramya, Zoey, Sansa and Arya. The guests, who visit the restaurant for the first time, can allow the Usher [robot at the reception] to scan their retina and feed their name along with other details in the system.


Do you want fr-AI-s with that appy-meal? McDonald's gobbles machine-learning biz for space-age Drive Thrus

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McDonald's has wolfed down Apprente, an AI startup focused on voice recognition. One of America's biggest fast-food chains wants to get its greasy hands on machine learning. Apprente, based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 2017, and has been building speech-powered customer-service chatbots. Now, the team will be rebranded as McD Tech Labs, and will slap their technology into McDonald's Drive Thru service. "The initial focus of the Silicon Valley team will be to enhance technology for use in McDonald's Drive Thru," gushed the McFlurry giant in a statement.


Why We're Collaborating with Google in TensorFlow Privacy - Georgian Partners

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In today's increasingly hyperconnected world, it's more important than ever to protect our privacy online. But the more information companies collect about us, the more difficult it becomes to protect, even if it's properly anonymized. To address this critical issue, we're excited to announce that we've worked with Google to make our differential privacy library publicly available through TensorFlow, the industry's leading open-source machine learning framework. So what is differential privacy, and why are we teaming up with the world's top technology firm to make it freely available? When we sign up for online services, they assure us that all of our information is "completely anonymous."


McDonald's doubles down on AI: Firm acquires voice-tech startup to improve its interactive menus

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Fast food chain McDonald's has made yet another push into the world of automation. The company on Tuesday revealed it is acquiring conversational technology startup Apprente with a plan to integrate its systems with services such as drive-thru menus, self-order kiosks, and the mobile app. It comes just months after the fast food giant began rolling out AI-powered menus at hundreds of its locations across the United States, using the technology to make more precise menu suggestions. McDonald's on Tuesday revealed it is acquiring conversational technology startup Apprente with a plan to integrate its systems with services such as drive-thru menus, self-order kiosks, and the mobile app McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said the latest acquisition will make it'simpler and even more enjoyable for crew members to serve guests.' Back in March the company acquired Israeli digital startup Dynamic Yield with similar plans to improve the customer experience using AI.