“Soooooo . . . Would you like some fries, you stupidly naive Human Fool, along with your Robot-Burger?”
Dear Noble Robo-Witness,
In THE ROBO-REPORTER, back on 5/15/20, we talked about the abject failure and lack of wisdom in recent attempts to use A.I. to help “solve” a current vexing Worldwide Problem – – The Coronavirus Pandemic! We now discuss another very disturbing recent trend. This trend involves the current use of Decision Logic Technology (a specific application of artificial intelligence) to address various practical problems in the restaurant business.
THE POSSIBLY DANGEROUS FUTURE CONSEQUENCES OF RESTAURANTS ADOPTING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Will McDonald’s ALWAYS Be “Lovin’ It”?
Back in September 26, 2019, Jon Quast wrote the following article for The Motley Fool: McDonald’s Is Lovin’ Technology. “While not typically associated with technology, McDonald’s is pushing hard on that front,” Quast informed us. He noted McDonald’s buying of two high-tech companies: (1.) Dynamic Yield, a type of decision logic company; and (2.) Apprente, a communication technology company.
Dynamic Yield uses its decision logic to help analyze factors (like time of day and the weather) that influence certain customer buying decisions. The AI of the decision logic “provides McDonald’s with a new personalized customer experience – – whether its drive-thru, at a self-ordering kiosk, or on the app. In theory, it improves the ordering experience, drives efficiency, and increases drive-thru speed.”
The second acquisition – – Apprente – – uses its technology (rather than a real person) to take the customer’s order in the drive-thru. McDonald’s believes that this AI “will increase the speed, simplicity, and accuracy of the drive-thru order.”
It’s Supposed To Be All About Data – – NOT Human-Killing Robots!
Quast notes that, “McDonald’s isn’t the only restaurant chain out there pursuing technology. It’s probably safe to say that all companies invest in tech in some capacity. . . . . . But something stands out with McDonald’s technology acquisitions. Both Dynamic Yield and Apprente consider themselves to be artificial intelligence companies. For the purpose of this discussion, when it comes to AI, think less about human-killing robots and more about data.“ Quast then seeks to reassure us that, “Data is what artificial intelligence is built on. With these two acquisitions, McDonald’s is able to collect more customer data than ever before[,] from which it can build a better customer experience.” At that time, Quast remarked that neither Wendy’s nor Burger King – – two of McDonald’s main competitors – – could match its high-tech, AI-heavy, use of Decision Logic technology.
Following this two-pronged adoption of AI data pattern analysis in 2019, can we reasonably conclude that Mickey D has now far-outpaced its other restaurant competitors? Well, let us consider another Fool article by Will Healy, published just today (June 4, 2020). It is titled, Better Buy: McDonald’s vs. Darden Restaurants. Healy looks at, The State of McDonald’s. In marked contrast to the earlier article by Jon Quast, Will Healy classifies McDonald’s quite differently: “McDonald’s is one restaurant stock that investors could arguably classify as a real estate company. The company derives most of its revenue through franchises and property rental. Nonetheless, with McDonald’s restaurants operating at reduced capacity, if they operate at all, the company has suffered.”
Being a loyal customer of McDonald’s, who lives in the mostly Covid-19 stay-at-home state of Illinois, I can personally attest that, when I walk into a McDonald’s with my face mask in place, there is absolutely NO use, whatsoever, of its self-ordering kiosks! Will Healy interprets the overall business situation for Mickey D, as being one which is actually deficient in its future prospects: “Outside of franchising in saturated markets, it also remains unclear where the company would go for long-term growth. At one time, McDonald’s invested in both Boston Market and Chipotle. Last year, it also bought Dynamic Yield, an artificial intelligence company, to enhance drive-thru windows. However, with its restaurants in so many countries, it has no apparent outlet for significant growth.” Okay, then, I must then ask, “What exactly, has Mickey D accomplished with its two-pronged adoption of artificial intelligence, in its business? – – Besides a Possible Future Danger of Human-Killing Robots accompanying its burgers, fries, and abundance of AI Data?“
HERE COME THE CHINESE COMMUNISTS – – AFTER THEY HAVE ALREADY GIVEN US THEIR DEADLY VIRUS!
Sooooo . . . Would you like some OTHER nasty surprises from COMMUNIST CHINA, along with our DEADLY VIRUS?
“Are the United States and China heading for a new Cold War?” Ivo Daalder warns us in his May 22nd, Chicago Tribune OPINION piece, Our New Cold War With China: Not Like The Old Cold War. “Judging by some of the rhetoric and policies emanating from Beijing and Washington, it sure looks that way. Already tense, relations between the world’s two largest powers have deteriorated sharply since the lethal coronavirus first emerged in the eastern Chinese city of Wuhan and then rapidly spread across the globe.”
Most alarming, Daalder reports that, “Beijing today is taking a more forceful and aggressive global stance. Under Xi, China not only rejects American global leadership; it seeks to replace it.” It would be very wise of us to ask ourselves, “So, just HOW could Communist China seek to replace American global leadership? After all, it’s already KILLED more than 100,000 American citizens!”
The Quickly-Emerging ROBO-AI Chinese Threat
“Economically, Xi has directed Chinese industry to lead the world in robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other high-tech fields by 2025. Militarily, China is modernizing rapidly, fielding the most advanced systems and increasingly showing off its military muscle . . .” It would be well to ask ourselves the following critical question: “We’ve just been invaded by a deadly coronavirus from China, which supposedly escaped their foolishly incompetent grasp! Soon, shall we also be invaded by deadly ROBOTIC WEAPONS from China, which are powered by STRONG AI?”