According to an entrepreneur specializing in AI, computer kiosks and robots will be capable of taking over the majority of fast food positions within a span of five to 10 years, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence.
"This is definitely a watershed moment for artificial intelligence," Valyant AI founder Rob Carpenter told Fox News. "We are going to see AI jump from back-office processing and manufacturing facilities to consumer-facing, front-facing, traditionally human-only jobs."
Several popular fast food chains, including McDonald's, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Popeye's, Domino's, and Wingstop, have embraced artificial intelligence (AI) in their operations. Wendy's, for instance, recently initiated a collaboration with Google to transform the drive-thru encounter using AI. In a pilot initiative, Wendy's will utilize Google Cloud's AI technology to interact with customers and handle their orders.
"Within five to 10 years, I think the majority of positions within restaurants can be automated, and that'll be from a variety of different technology providers," Carpenter stated.
Holly, an AI system developed by Valyant AI, has emerged as a noteworthy contender in the drive-through industry. According to Carpenter, Holly has proven its ability to outperform human employees in terms of sales. Having successfully processed over a million drive-through orders, Holly is now collaborating with renowned fast food chains such as Hardee's and Carl's Jr.
Carpenter highlighted that AI is already revolutionizing the food industry by automating food orders through self-service computer kiosks, facilitating seamless payment transactions via mobile devices, and enabling robots to handle meal preparation tasks.
"What we see is that humans on average will upsell about 50% of the time," Carpenter added. "Valyant upsells about 200% on average."
"They can add items to their order, they can modify items, they can remove items," he continued. "Holly will roll with all of that."
According to a report by Goldman Sachs on March 26, the progress in AI could result in the elimination or reduction of approximately 300 million jobs. The analysis suggests that this technological advancement has the potential to cause substantial disruptions in labor markets worldwide.
Carpenter stated that AI such as Holly and other applications may replaced jobs faster than food franchises can create.
"The order-taking position is one of the least desirable positions within fast food restaurants," the Carpenter told Fox News. "That should just be a job that a robot can do because it's basic and it's automated."
"It doesn't matter if it's 8 a.m. or 2 a.m, the AI still sounds chipper and she never forgets those upsells," he added.