CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Report: DoorDash Boosts Voice AI With Standard AI Hires


DoorDash is reportedly hiring to strengthen its AI-powered voice ordering product for restaurant customers.

Senior members of artificial intelligence (AI) startup Standard AI — including former CEO Jordan Fisher and co-founders Brandon Ogle and Daniel Fischetti — are joining DoorDash, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday (March 27).

According to the report, the new hires will focus on the non-delivery side of DoorDash’s business, working on the AI product the company introduced last summer that helps restaurants take phone orders.

DoorDash told Bloomberg it is in talks with various mid-market and enterprise restaurants about taking part in product testing, including “notable” pizza chains. A company spokesman declined to disclose terms of the deal but said it involved fewer than 10 hires and no product licensing.

DoorDash announced in August that it was developing voice ordering capabilities powered by AI to enable restaurants to field phone orders more efficiently.

“Customers expect more from restaurateurs, and in return, restaurateurs expect even more technology-forward solutions from us — including support for phone channels to meet customers where they’re ordering,” DoorDash Head of Product and Design Rajat Shroff said in a statement at the time.

“Supporting operators by capturing customer demand through investments in our voice product is one way we’re delivering more and enabling our partners to grow their business.”

Meanwhile, research by PYMNTS Intelligence has shown consumer hesitancy to use voice AI at restaurants, though Aaron Nilsson, chief information officer at Jet’s Pizza, said customers have had positive experiences with voice order-taking AI technology, even when they know they are talking with a robot.

“The voiceover is communicating that it’s a robot,” he said. “We didn’t want to hide that in any way. … One really delightful thing that I hear on occasion when we pull recordings from this is that, at the end of calls, frequently, customers will say, ‘Thank you.’ That is inherently a human-to-human thing. … They’re having an interaction that’s human-like.”

Elsewhere in the AI space, DoorDash recently debuted an artificial intelligence feature aimed at spotting and preventing verbal abuse or harassment on its platform to protect  both customers and delivery drivers.

SafeChat+, announced earlier this month, can detect inappropriate conversation between a customer and a driver and give the driver the option to cancel the order without affecting the driver’s rating. And if the driver is the one marking inappropriate remarks, the customer can reach out to DoorDash support via chat or phone to receive help.

While “more than 99.9% of deliveries” on the platform are carried out with no safety-related incident, verbal abuse or harassment are the most common incidents, the company said.