McD Tech Labs was created by restaurant company McDonald’s to boost employee and customer facing innovations

IBM Watson_Hero and Carousel_1920x720

McD Tech Labs team will become part of the IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software division. (Credit: IBM)

IBM has signed an agreement with restaurant company McDonald’s to acquire McD Tech Labs for the development of Automated Order Taking (AOT) technology.

McDonald’s created McD Tech Labs, following the acquisition of Apprente, a California-based startup involved in developing conversational agents to automate voice-based ordering, in September 2019.

The US-based fast-food company established McD Tech Labs to boost employee and customer facing innovations.

McDonald’s intends to drive innovation across Digital, Delivery and Drive Thru, as part of its strategic growth plan, “Accelerating the Arches”.

The agreement with IBM is expected to enable McDonald’s to speed up its efforts to provide a unique customer and crew experience.

According to the US-based technology company, McDonald’s development and testing of AOT technology has already shown significant benefits to customers and the restaurant crew experience.

With its expertise in building customer care solutions with AI and natural language processing, IBM is expected to help scale the AOT technology across markets.

IBM’s capabilities will also enhance the AOT technology to tackle integrations including additional languages, dialects and menu variations.

IBM stated: “AOT will continue to be integrated into McDonald’s highly secure technology ecosystem. All IBM business engagements are bound by the ethical, responsible advancement of technology.

“IBM and McDonald’s are both committed to adopting AI responsibly by embedding ethical principles into AI applications and processes to build systems based on trust and transparency.”

McD Tech Labs is expected to strengthen IBM’s capabilities to develop and deliver AI-driven customer care solutions with IBM Watson.

The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

It is expected to be closed in December this year.

The McD Tech Labs team will be included in the IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software division, upon completion.

Recently, IBM revealed plans to acquire the Adobe Workfront consulting unit and assets to advance its hybrid cloud and AI strategy.

The Adobe Workfront business will be purchased from Rego Consulting Corporation.