clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recode Daily: McDonald’s spent a reported $300 million to acquire an AI company

Plus: Google’s rebooted robotics plans, the FTC’s inquiry into internet service providers, and Qualcomm’s win over Apple in their patent-royalty dispute.

A picture of a McDonald’s storefront sign and a high-rise apartment building behind it.
The McDonald’s menu is about to go high tech.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Can I get a side of AI with those fries? McDonald’s purchased Silicon Valley VC-backed AI company Dynamic Yield on Tuesday. The deal was reportedly for over $300 million, which would make it the fast-food giant’s largest acquisition since it bought Boston Market in 1999. Dynamic Yield’s technology will use algorithms to determine what menu items to show customers based on such things as weather, time of day, local traffic, nearby events, and sales trends. The technology will roll out to 1,000 stores in the next three months and eventually be used in the company’s 14,000 stores domestically in the US.
[Anthony Ha / TechCrunch]

[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]

A US federal judge found that Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent and recommended an import ban on some iPhones. Qualcomm claimed that Apple iPhones with Intel chips infringed upon “two patents related to ways to improve the speed and quality of data downloads and one for a power-saving feature,” according to Bloomberg. The judge’s decision to recommend a ban on some imported older iPhone models is a win for Qualcomm in its ongoing battle with Apple over patent royalties. However, the full US International Trade Commission is scheduled to review the ruling and a final decision on the matter isn’t expected until July.
[Susan Decker / Bloomberg]

Google is rebooting its robotics program. In the past several years, the search giant sold off or shut down several robotics acquisitions, such as Boston Dynamics, that made humanoid-type robots. Now, the company is rebuilding its program with a focus on simpler machines with a software focus, such as a robotic arm that can teach itself to identify and sort specific objects. The team also has a new leader, French-born researcher Vincent Vanhoucke. Former robotics head Andy Rubin left the company in 2014 amid harassment allegations.
[Cade Metz / The New York Times]

The FTC is launching an inquiry on the privacy practices of internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon. The study on how ISPs handle customer data is, as Makena Kelly writes, “a major step toward monitoring and regulating how much data ISPs are allowed to collect on their customers, and how widely that data can be shared.” It isn’t, however, a look into the data practices of Big Tech companies, which is what many had expected when the FTC first announced plans to launch a study on privacy practices in the technology sector.[Makena Kelly / The Verge]

Recode presents ...

Recode Decode fans: Tell us what you think. You may know her as the person Donald Trump calls “Kara Podcast,” but in her spare time Kara Swisher talks tech on the Recode Decode podcast. Since it launched in 2015, we’ve hosted candid interviews with people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and many more.

To make sure we’re continuing to bring you the biggest news and ideas in tech today, we want to know more about you, what you’ve liked, and what you’d like to hear more of. If you have a minute, please take our user survey. Your answers will help us plan and grow to better serve you. Take the Recode Decode survey here.

Top Stories from Recode

Today, Explained host Sean Rameswaram on the growth of podcasting and the trendiness of daily news explainer shows.

Rameswaram talks with Kara Swisher on the lastest Recode Decode.

[Kara Swisher]

This is Cool

Watch out, WeWork.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.