Fast Food Chains May Soon Guess Your Gender When You Order. Here's Why

Correction 6/7/22: A previous version of this article stated Raydiant's SightCorp tech is installed in Wahlbuger locations. The predictive tech is not currently in use in any Wahlburger restaurants.

Not sure what to order at your favorite fast food chain? That's okay, because a new artificial intelligence software already does — or at least, it thinks it does, based on how you look. As demoed during the 2022 National Restaurant Association Show, per Restaurant Business, the AI technology comes from Raydiant, a digital signage company that has developed a way to use Sightcorp software in its self-ordering kiosks. With SightCorp, these camera-equipped kiosks can detect the age, attention level, and mood of customers, and use AI to match them with corresponding menu selections. Assumed gender appears to also be a factor, which means you could get very different food suggestions depending on how the system identifies you.

It might seem unnecessary for a computer to help you pick out what you want to eat, but Mark Wahlberg stands by the tech. Back in 2020, the actor turned restaurateur became a strategic advisor for Raydiant. "The team at Raydiant has done a great job creating unique in-store experiences for consumers," Wahlberg shared in a press release. "I'm impressed with what they're doing for brick-and-mortar companies, and happy to get involved in spreading the word to other businesses." In a statement sent to Tasting Table, Raydiant shared that the SightCorp software is not currently in use in any Wahlburger locations.

The technology is meant to create a better dining experience

As the SightCrop tech revealed at the 2022 National Restaurant Association Show was only a demonstration of what may be in store for fast food customers in the futuer, for now, the job of improving the dining experience falls upon AI-operated kiosks. While using such advanced technology at a burger chain may seem unnecessary, it isn't exactly new to the fast food industry. McDonald's announced plans to put it into use back in 2019, for example. The tech the burger giant uses changes the drive-thru menu suggestions based on the weather, time of day, and popularity of menu items.

As Restaurant Business explains it, the new Raydiant technology is more advanced (and perhaps more biased), but it's designed for the same reason: To help customers narrow down their choices so a visit to any fast food restaurant using it feels more personalized and enjoyable.