I swear, the unintentionally ironic is a constant source of amusement. In today’s WSJ there’s a modestly interesting story about fast food chains starting to use AI in the drive thru lanes. After all, they don’t need all the information in the universe, just the menu and a reasonable ability to understand conversational English (coming soon: Spanish).
If the transaction gets too heavy, a human takes over. Things like “is the bun gluten free?” Which even most teenagers with a headset would struggle to handle.
Anyway, the article notes that this particular Hardee’s had 18-22 employees before the pandemic, but now gets along with just 15 or 16. The conclusion?
“ With Presto, workers are able to do other things like drop fries, assemble orders and tend to dining-room guests, he said. “We have no intention of cutting labor,” Cato added. ”
So, we’re not replacing employees, we’re just doing more with fewer employees so the remaining drones can drop fries and “tend to dining room guests”, which I think means “wipe the ketchup off the tables.”
For the record, the whole history of fast food is “do more with less” and this is just the latest iteration, I just find it amusing the lack of self-awareness with which this is heralded. The WSJ, of course, takes it at face value.