Are You A Bot? You're NOT Getting My Order Right


In 2021, McDonald’s joined forces with IBM to use its automated order-taking (AOT) technology. Two years later, some 14,000 sites are expected to get the technology this year, but as documented by TikTok users, AOT is far from glitch-free. 

In various TikTok videos, customers show the AI system interacting with them awkwardly, even adding unwanted items.

In one video, a woman orders a Caramel Sundae and a large water, but sees a ketchup packet and butter pop up on her drive-thru order tally. When she asks for “just ice cream,” the system responds by adding a Caramel Sundae.

Another Tik Tokker posted a video about how she got an order from another drive-through line tacked on to her bill. “Mind you, at this McDonald’s, it’s all robot,” she said. When she asked the system to take the Diet Coke off, the robot instead added nine sweet teas. “I did not ask for this!” she said.

In another Tik Tok video, a user tries to order a Mountain Dew and gets a medium Coke instead. After some trouble, a human worker steps in and explains that McDonald’s doesn’t have Mountain Dew since it doesn’t carry any Pepsi products).

McDonald’s has been testing AI-powered menu boards since 2019, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Other fast-food restaurants, including Checkers & Rally’s, Popeye’s, Taco Bell and Panera are currently doing the same, reports Insider.

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