Domino’s is not content to simply control almost 10 percent of the pizza market, they want to get in on the robot revolution that is making actual human employees more and more obsolete. Today, the company rolled out a beta version of “Dom,” a Siri-style program for its iPhone and Android apps that will let hungry customers speak pizza wishes into the phone and receive a “human-like conversation experience.” Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle has insisted that Dom is not perfect yet and probably isn’t going to pass the Turing test anytime soon, but hopes that Dom will make ordering easier than it currently is and drive more customers to Domino’s. We gave Dom a test run and here are some things we discovered:
Pro: The voice recognition is quite good. We tried ordering seven different toppings and Dom nailed all of them, even when we did an impression of the slightly slurring drunken person who is usually ordering Domino’s late at night.
Con: Dom is a little straight-laced. No Easter eggs like there were on Siri’s initial rollout. When we asked for every topping, Dom was confused. Our request for a Pizza Hut pizza was totally ignored. Let’s hope Dom 2.0 will be a little sassier. We suggest programming him to say, “Pizza Hut? You mean the Voldemort of restaurants?”
Pro: Dom is a very upbeat, positive guy. After we put a large pie in our cart and prepared to check out he complemented us on our what a stellar job we did: “Great order! Want to take it to the next level?”
Con: “The next level” apparently just meant adding Parmesan Bread Bites. We were hoping for secret menu options you can get only by ordering via artificial intelligence.
Pro: The “human-like experience” of ordering with Dom is at least as human-like as most Dominos ordering experiences we’ve actually had on the phone. He responds quickly and will clearly tell you if he doesn’t understand, which is not a guarantee when talking to a human being.
Con: The menu is not immediately available when you start talking to Dom. You either have to take the extra step of asking to see it or review one of the 457 Dominos flyers left near your front door.
Conclusion: If tapping the screen on your phone was too cumbersome or if using Seamless and GrubHub have made you long for someone to talk to, Dom is a nice upgrade. But he doesn’t make ordering so much easier that it’s worth your coworkers staring at you while you list off pizza toppings to your phone.