AI is seeping into customer touchpoints at popular global brands, including fast-food chain Wendy’s drive-thrus and video game developer Blizzard Entertainment’s designs (both American). Meanwhile, AI chatbots are evolving to speak more languages and interact with users in increasingly humanlike ways.
- Wendy’s is automating the food ordering process with an AI assistant at one of its Ohio-based restaurants. After listening to drive-thru customers’ orders, the AI inputs them into its point-of-sale system for human employees to start preparing the food. The AI, created in partnership with Google and built on the tech giant’s language model, is trained to understand the many nuances of drive-thru ordering, such as when customers use abbreviations for menu items or change their minds about orders.
- Blizzard Entertainment is training an AI image generator on a library of its own character designs. Its goal is to speed up the character ideation and design process, leading some critics to say the AI could contribute to layoffs of game designers in the long run. See Generative AI & the Creative Industries for more.
- At Google’s I/O event, the company introduced its new PaLM2 language model, which is trained on data in more than 100 languages. Bard, Google’s AI chatbot, is being updated with PaLM2 data and is now capable of speaking and writing in Japanese and Korean, bringing its content-generating abilities to a broader non-English-speaking audience. See The Brief for more on multi-lingual AI.
- Google announced Project Tailwind, an AI-powered tool capable of automatically summarising and organising notes, and Sidekick, an upcoming AI-enabled feature that makes contextual suggestions in documents. Both can save information workers time and energy. See Hacking Work & Education in Generative AI: Tech’s New Frontier for more AI workplace assistants.
- Californian start-up Inflection released its new Pi AI companion chatbot. Designed to have a high level of emotional intelligence, the AI is programmed to speak with users in a casual way, incorporating human qualities like humour and kindness into its responses. For more chatbot companions, see The Brief.