“I’m Sorry Dave – I can’t serve you that” – AI in the Food and Drink Industries

8 November, 2019

With McDonald’s acquiring an artificial intelligence start-up to potentially help with drive-thru orders, and an AI developed whisky in the works, it looks like artificial intelligence is breaking into the food and drink sector.


How can AI help FAD businesses?

As well as the headline-grabbing uses like blending whiskies or taking orders, AI has a broad range of applications that can help pretty much any kind of business. AI isn’t restricted to replicating human interactions (like putting a chatbot on your website to help with queries) or mimicking human tastes and creative instincts (like matching flavour profiles).


AI can help identify trends in consumer purchasing (helping you shape your product line and product to match demand) or find efficiencies in your delivery routes (helping to save time and transport costs). Any situation which involves analysing large data sets is likely to have a potential application of AI.


So how do we leverage this?

Unlike McDonald’s you don’t need to buy a start-up in order to utilise AI. You also don’t need a dream team of tech wizards within your organisation. Various technology providers already employ AI as part of their services, whether that’s in an off-the-shelf product or as part of their bespoke problem-solving solutions. The key points to properly using AI will be:


  • Ensuring you find the right provider, with a proven record of delivery effective solutions to similar companies
  • Making sure you properly scope the exercise involved and define the outcome you want to achieve – ideally this will come before you sign the contract and hand over the cash
  • Engaging with the process, making sure it stays on track and the product can be properly integrated into your business.


What will this look like in the future?

Customer-facing AI is certainly going to increase, especially as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa get people used to interacting with “robots”, but what works for McDonald’s won’t necessarily work for everyone. AI’s biggest impact is likely to be behind the scenes, automating processes or making them more efficient, working in tandem with existing solutions. AI isn’t just a CGI face telling you to have a nice day, it’s the 1s and 0s that learn to spot things that humans can’t.


If you’d like assistance with procuring or licensing software including AI based solutions, let us know. You may also find our software portal helpful. https://www.crippspg.co.uk/software-portal/

For further information on any of the legal issues associated with implementing an AI solution in your business, or tech law more generally, please contact Elliot Fry on elliot.fry@crippspg.co.uk or visit our website at www.crippspg.co.uk