Technology

DoorDash hires leaders from Standard AI to help grow its AI voice product

Standard AI's CEO and co-founders are joining the delivery company as it makes a bigger push into artificial intelligence.
DoorDash sticker on a door
DoorDash is talking to a number of pizza chains about using its AI voice system. | Photo: Shutterstock

DoorDash is making a big push into artificial intelligence.

The restaurant delivery provider is hiring several leaders from tech firm Standard AI to help develop its AI voice ordering system, according to a Bloomberg report that was confirmed by DoorDash.

Standard AI CEO Jordan Fisher and co-founders Brandon Ogle and Daniel Fischetti are joining DoorDash, along with members of Standard’s engineering team, the company said.

San Francisco-based Standard AI was founded in 2017 and specializes in AI-powered computer vision for retailers. It has earned the stamp of approval of marquee VC firms like SoftBank and Y Combinator. 

DoorDash will apparently look to Standard's brain trust for help in growing a white-label AI bot that can take orders over the phone for chain restaurants. The company said it was talking to a number of medium and large brands about using the technology, including pizza chains.

DoorDash announced the AI voice initiative in August. It began developing the system after learning that 1 in 5 consumers prefer ordering takeout by calling the restaurant, but that nearly half of those calls go unanswered.

The voicebot is designed to solve that problem as well as make recommendations that could boost check sizes and allow customers to easily reorder past meals.

AI voice has become an intriguing prospect for restaurants looking to ease their labor costs. Some chains have installed it on the phone lines while others are using it to take drive-thru orders. But the learning curve for the AI models remains steep, and the technology has yet to fully take hold in restaurants.

DoorDash, which has evolved from a delivery company into a tech provider in its own right, is apparently planning to make a serious run at the market.

“I think it has a lot of promise for making the consumer experience, shopping experience, a lot easier as well by reducing friction,” CEO Tony Xiu told analysts on an earnings call in May. “So I think you should expect a lot of fun things to come in the future, and we'll be a big part of that.”

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