McDonald’s is to replace human servers with voice-based technology in its US drive-throughs.
The fast-food chain hopes the AI technology will make the ordering process hassle-free.
McDonald’s is implementing the tech with the help of start-up Apprente, which it acquired this week.
The move comes amid concern about workers whose jobs may become obsolete as a result of automation.
The voice-based system is being tested in a number of North American locations already, ahead of plans to expand it across the United States.
McDonald’s says the technology could soon also be used in mobile and kiosk ordering.
Concern has grown in recent years about workers who may lose their jobs as a result of automation and new technologies.
Up to 20 million jobs in the manufacturing industry alone could be replaced by robots by 2030, according to analysis firm Oxford Economics.
McDonald’s added that it plans to expand its newly-formed McD Tech team by hiring more engineers and data scientists to find new ways to improve the customer experience in its 36,000-plus restaurants.
It is the latest in string of acquisitions for the company, after it invested in technology in March that will automatically alter drive-through menu panels, depending on factors such as weather and trends in the local area.