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An ‘AI’ fast food drive-thru is mostly just human workers in the Philippines

A graphic showing a robot performing multiple functions
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Artificial intelligence-powered drive-thru company Presto Automation described itself as “one of the largest labor automation technology providers in the industry,” and boasted its ability to increase sales and “save” human labor time.

But according to recent filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, off-site human workers are stepping in and completing over 70 percent of orders.

Despite the company’s branding and marketing suggesting magical drive-in tech, Presto Automation uses workers in places like the Philippines, according to Bloomberg. The AI drive-thru technology is used by fast food restaurants including Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Del Taco, and Checkers across the country, promising to lower labor costs and increase…

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