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The system uses voice recognition to take orders and answer questions

Phone orders and breaking-edge technology aren't often used in the same sentence these days, but that is exactly where Domino's is putting its latest initiative using artificial intelligence. The mega-pizza brand said this morning that is using AI for its voice recognition application to take telephone orders coming into its stores.

Domino's said it was the first company to introduce a voice recognition app that conducted a retail transaction when it launched its virtual ordering assistant, DOM, in 2014. And today, the company said in a news release that it now conducts more than 65 percent of its U.S. sales via its assorted digital platforms.

"DOM was a key milestone not only for us, but for voice recognition technology in general," J. Patrick Doyle,president and CEO, Domino's, said in the release. "DOM was also the public face of our initial investment in artificial intelligence. Voice is a more natural way for people to interact with technology and that's why we have been investing in AI for more than half a decade.

"We believe natural voice recognition is the future, as seen by the rise in virtual assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. More importantly, artificial intelligence provides great learning platforms that will enable us to do more to deliver convenience for our customers and better job experiences for our team members. With DOM on the phones, our AnyWare ordering technology and plans we have for future in-store technology, our goal is to one day be 100 percent digital."

DOM is currently being tested on the phones in 20 U.S. stores, with plans to expand the platform to more stores in the coming months.

"While many of our orders come via digital platforms, there are still millions of customers who like to call in their orders directly to their local stores," Domino's Chief Digital Officer Dennis Maloney, said in the release. "DOM can now take those orders, freeing up our store team members to focus on preparing orders and serving customers already in the lobby."

Domino's first tested DOM for phoned-in carryout orders in a few of its company-owned stores. Initial response from customers and team members was positive.

"Store team members like DOM," Domino's Virginia Corporate Operations Manager Nicole Prokopczyk said. "They are focusing on providing better service to in-store customers while our pizza makers are concentrating on what they do best - making great-tasting pizzas."

DOM can also help customers determine where their orders are in the process. That's operationally helpful because Maloney said some of the calls coming into stores are from those customers who've already ordered and DOM automatically determines, based on the call-in number, whether this is a new order call or follow-up.

In the event it's a follow-up call, she said "DOM will act as a version of Domino's Tracker and provide customers with the information they're looking for." Domino's Tracker was another restaurant industry first launched by Domino's in 2008.

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