Wendy's plans to replace drive-thru food order takers with Google Cloud's generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) technology point to what this technology can do to fast food workers: send them looking for other jobs if any are left.

AI is about machines replacing human tasks, meaning that labor loses its bargaining power with employers or becomes redundant. As a result, it lowers the return on labor and raises the return on capital in two ways.

First, AI is faster and more accurate than humans, leading to higher productivity and lower costs.

Second, AI is laser-focused on the tasks to be performed and emotionless, helping raise revenues and profit margins.

For instance, in fast food outlets like Wendy's, AI order-taking systems will cut labor costs and service time per customer. In addition, it could lead to higher revenue and profit margin per customer, as AI follows the company playbook more accurately than humans, like asking whether the customer wants the fries and the drinks that supplement the burgers. These are usually high-profit margin items.

That's why AI systems will take the fast-food sector by storm, replacing workers from one task to another, taking orders from customers, placing orders for suppliers, and processing payments.

Of course, the only thing they won't do is flip burgers or make pizzas, but robots could accomplish that, taking more jobs away from fast food workers.

But who is next? Joe Karasin, CMO & Founder of Karasin PPC, see marketing as another sector to be invaded by AI systems, specifically in content creation.

"Already, AI tools like Synthasia can create very realistic videos with AI avatars that look and sound real," he told International Business Times.

"In addition, Chat GPT can do a lot of the heavy lifting regarding written content," he explained. "Marketing professionals will have to shift gears and learn to be great AI prompt writers, as the content is created at lightning speed. Sadly, quality will take a hit, and much of what comes out will be homogenous, but it is less expensive than hiring a full-time creative team to produce blogs and videos."

Richard Gardner, the founder, and CEO of Modulus, sees every repetitive, low-skill job at risk of replacement by AI. "For example, offshore writers who simply 'spin' website content are far more likely to be replaced than New York Times reporters," he told IBT. "Reporters may well find that AI helps them do more investigating reporting. Using AI as a tool, reporters can spend less time writing and more time investigating and conducting interviews. Customer service teams will see some displacement, but AI will likely first be utilized to resolve routine questions while allowing humans to focus on the most technical and acute queries. It can be a tool for workers if they learn to utilize it properly."

Ivan Cole, the Managing Director at Mazars USA LLP, sees numerous applications of AI capabilities, particularly in the ERP/CRM sector. "For instance, Chatbots and conversational AI can effectively handle customer inquiries and provide relevant and context-aware responses," he told IBT. "Additionally, efficient information retrieval and knowledge management can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as data processing and text generation, freeing up time for higher value-adding tasks."

Katie Charleston of Katie Charleston Law Firm believes that manufacturing, legal, and Marketing industries are another area of work threatened by the continued development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence systems.

Meanwhile, she warns of the side effects of AI. "While AI can bring efficiency to a business, companies should also consider the negative impact that such implementation could have, such as the lack of personal touch that creates branding and a loyal following, additional maintenance and system expenses, and the necessity for a back-up plan when the system fails," she told IBT.

Gardner has good advice for workers: "Learn how to use AI to complement your skill set. Then, add it to your toolkit, just as you have Excel or other technologies."

Wendy's restaurant
Representational picture. michaelform/Pixabay