(Repost) AI News — An AI Chatbot Will Take Your Order at More Wendy's Drive-Thrus

Transcript (credit: OpenAI Whisper):

An AI chatbot will take your order at more Wendy's drive-thrus. Wendy's company is expanding its test of an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that takes orders at the drive-thru. Franchisees will get the chance to test the product in 2024, the chain said Monday. The tool, powered by Google Cloud's AI software, is currently active in four company-operated restaurants near Columbus, Ohio. More locations are slated to start using it soon. Wendy's announced the pilot in May, joining the AI race as fast-food joints contended with elevated labor costs and the enduring popularity of drive-thrus. The chain said Monday the software could on average take 86 percent of orders without intervention from restaurant staff, just exceeding the 85 percent target outlined earlier this year. The system uses generative AI to create responses and adapt to customers in real time, Wendy's said. In one location, service times were 22 seconds faster than the average for Columbus. Read more, AI-powered drive-thru is actually run almost fully by humans. 





My comment: Entry-level, low-skilled jobs are being axed with the advent of Generative AI. Industries that traditionally offer lots of such jobs are ripe for this technological change. However, I suspect that some entry-level, low-skilled jobs can survive if the positions are less commoditized and can benefit from the job-holders experience built on the job over time (that is, the substitution cost is high). 

Running the preceding paragraph through Chatgpt yields:

[Your writing is clear and conveys the idea effectively. To enhance its clarity and flow, consider the following revised version:

"With the emergence of Generative AI, many entry-level, low-skilled positions are being eliminated, particularly in industries that have historically provided numerous such opportunities. Despite this trend, it's plausible that certain entry-level, low-skilled roles might persist, especially those that are less standardized and gain value from the cumulative experience of the job-holder. In these cases, the high cost of replacing experienced workers could safeguard these positions from being overtaken by AI."

This revision aims to maintain the original meaning while improving readability and emphasizing key points.] Ref: OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com


Additional context:

Q to Bard: "how many fast food restaurant workers have lost their jobs due to the adoption of kiosks?"

A from Bard: [Unfortunately, there is no single, reliable estimate of the exact number of fast food restaurant workers who have lost their jobs due to the adoption of kiosks. This is due to several factors:

Data limitations:

Incomplete data: Official statistics often don't directly track job displacement due to specific technological changes like kiosks.
Confounding factors: Employment in the fast food industry is influenced by various factors, making it difficult to isolate the impact of kiosks alone.
Methodology challenges:

Attributing job loss: Differentiating job losses due to automation from other factors like economic fluctuations or changes in consumer preferences is complex.
Varied implementation: The extent of kiosk adoption and its impact on staffing differs across restaurants and chains.
However, despite the lack of a precise figure, several studies and reports provide insights into the potential impact of kiosks on employment:


A 2017 study by the University of California, Berkeley found that for every self-service kiosk installed, approximately 0.5 to 0.7 jobs were lost.
A 2020 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that automation accounted for 4.8 million job losses in the U.S. between 1990 and 2016, with some portion likely attributed to fast food kiosks.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier jobs will decline by 7% between 2020 and 2030, partly due to automation technologies like kiosks.
A report by the Economic Policy Institute estimates that automation could eliminate up to 38% of fast food jobs by 2030.
While these estimates vary, they all highlight the potential for significant job losses in the fast food industry due to kiosk adoption.

It's important to note that the impact of kiosks isn't solely negative:

Increased efficiency: Kiosks can lead to faster service times and increased order accuracy, potentially boosting revenue and contributing to job security for other employees.
Shifting roles: Instead of job losses, some workers may transition to different roles within the restaurant, such as food preparation or customer service.
The overall impact of kiosks on the fast food workforce remains complex and multifaceted. While job losses are a concern, it's crucial to consider the broader context and potential opportunities for adaptation and growth in this evolving industry.]

AI chatbot drive-thru Generative AI labor cost popular Restaurant

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