Most Read: McDonald’s Drops AI Drive-Thrus, DeepMind Builds a Virtual Rat

Also inside, Nvidia becomes the world’s most valuable company, plus, learn about the Air Force’s answer to ChatGPT

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 21, 2024

3 Min Read
 Customers queue at a McDonald's drive through restaurant
David Rogers/Getty Images

Here are the most-read stories on AI Business this week:

McDonald's Drops IBM's AI Order Tech, Seeks New Drive-Thru Tech

McDonald's is discontinuing the use of AI-powered voice ordering technology from IBM at drive-thru kiosks.

The fast food giant had deployed the automated order-taking (AOT) system at more than 100 restaurant locations but has decided not to renew the partnership, opting instead to explore alternative voice AI solutions from other vendors.

According to Restaurant Business, the business was happy with the trials but is looking to explore more opportunities.

“While there have been successes to date, we feel there is an opportunity to explore voice ordering solutions more broadly,” Mason Smoot, McDonald’s chief restaurant officer said in a message to franchisees.

The AOT systems will be switched off no later than July 26 with plans to replace the technology to be unveiled by the end of the year.

Learn more about McDonald’s AI efforts

Google DeepMind, Harvard Develop AI-Powered Virtual Rat to Study Movement

Researchers from Google DeepMind and Harvard University have created a virtual rat powered by an AI "brain" that can direct the rodent's motions in strikingly similar ways to a real rat's brain.

In a study published in the journal Nature, the researchers showed that the patterns of neural activity in the AI system produced natural, coordinated movements that matched those observed when recording from an actual rat's brain cells during motion.

Related:Elon Musk’s xAI Teams With Nvidia, Dell for AI Supercomputer

According to the researchers, these findings mark a significant step toward understanding the brain's mechanisms for controlling movement.

“These results demonstrate how physical simulation of biomechanically realistic virtual animals can help interpret the structure of neural activity across behavior and relate it to theoretical principles of motor control,” the findings read.

Explore how the project could help unlock the secrets of how the brain works

Nvidia Overtakes Microsoft as World's Most Valuable Company

Nvidia has become the most valuable company in the world after its market capitalization grew to $3.34 trillion, overtaking Microsoft at $3.32 trillion.

Nvidia shares ended trading on June 18 at $136 per share, a 3.5% increase. Since the beginning of 2024, Nvidia’s stock price has surged by more than 170%.

Last June, the company’s shares were worth $43.05 at a volume of 55 million. Following a recent 10-for-one stock split, there are 294 million shares with investors jumping at the chance to snap up shares for a company on the rise.

Related:The Race Towards Ethical AI: A Call for Responsible Innovation

Enthusiasm for Nvidia’s stock comes as the company announced it was shifting to a yearly release schedule, launching new GPUs every year including updated versions of its Blackwell and new Rubin chip

Read more about Nvidia’s meteoric rise

Air Force Launches ChatGPT-Like Tool for Staff to Explore Generative AI

The Air Force is encouraging staff to experiment with generative AI, launching a ChatGPT-like tool to help them innovate responsibly.

Named NIPRGPT, the chatbot is designed to get Air Force staff familiar with generative AI solutions.

Available as part of the Air Force’s Dark Saber software, users can engage NIPRGPT in human-like conversations, using it to answer questions, help assist with coding tasks and generate responses to correspondence.

“Our recent generative AI roundtables with industry and academia have shown us this is an actively growing field,” said Venice Goodwine, the Air Force’s chief information officer. “Now is the time to give our airmen and guardians the flexibility to develop the necessary skills in parallel. There are multiple modernization efforts going on right now across the federal government and within the Air Force to get tools in the hands of the workforce. This tool is another one of those efforts.”

Learn more about the Air Force’s answer to ChatGPT

How Business Accounting Can Benefit from ChatGPT’s Latest Upgrade

OpenAI rolled out GPT-4o, or Omni, an upgrade to the GPT-4 model that powers its ChatGPT chatbot and virtual assistant, in May 2024. It can process text, audio and images and even identify emotions from facial expressions.

JustPaid is an AI-backed business accounting software company that offers a ChatGPT copilot. In a Q&A, JustPaid co-founder Anelya Grant gave her first impressions of GPT-4o and its potential for financial and other applications.

Read the full interview

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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