Airbnb plans to make use of AI, together with its GamePlanner acquisition, to create the ‘final concierge’

In November, Airbnb acquired a stealth AI agency launched by Siri’s co-founder, known as GamePlanner.AI. The deal valued the secretive startup at round $200 million, based on experiences. Although the internet hosting firm didn’t telegraph its plans for GamePlanner on the time, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky in the present day shared a high-level overview of Airbnb’s bigger plans for AI, saying that it deliberate to accel on the “utility layer” of AI, constructing one of many “most modern AI interfaces ever created.”

Hyperbole apart, Chesky defined that Airbnb doesn’t see itself as an AI infrastructure firm — that means it’s not going to construct its personal giant language fashions, however will depend on AI applied sciences from others, like OpenAI, Meta, and Google. As an alternative, the corporate believes it may well create a brand new interface for accessing fashionable AI fashions. That’s one thing the GamePlanner acquisition may assist with.

“…Although the [AI] fashions are very highly effective, the interface is actually not an AI interface. It’s the identical interface as within the 2000s,” Chesky advised traders on the corporate’s fourth-quarter earnings name. “It’s a typical, classical net interface. So we really feel just like the fashions, in a way, are most likely underutilized,” he mentioned. “Take your cellphone and take a look at all of the icons in your cellphone. Most of these apps haven’t basically modified because the introduction of generative AI. So what I feel AI represents is the final word platform shift,” the CEO continued.

After the web’s creation, the rise of cellular know-how lifted Airbnb’s enterprise, however AI goes to vary issues as soon as once more, Chesky believes. “That is additionally a shift in energy. It’s a shift in conduct,” he mentioned.

Airbnb plans to leverage AI know-how and significantly generative AI to offer a extra customized expertise for its customers, the exec advised traders.

“Think about an app that you just really feel like is aware of you — it’s like the final word concierge. An interface that’s adaptive and evolving and altering in real-time, not like no interface you’ve ever seen earlier than. That may permit us to go from a single vertical firm to a cross-vertical firm,” Chesky added.

Whether or not or not Airbnb can ship on these ambitions, in fact, stays to be seen. Whereas Chesky paints an image of an evolution of the Airbnb person interface, powered by AI, in the present day’s AI techniques are sometimes nonetheless tough to make use of and have a nasty behavior of returning false info by way of what are often known as hallucinations. That’s, the AI bot will merely make issues up when it doesn’t know the reply. If the AI fashions don’t grow to be extra correct beneath the hood, Airbnb’s plans for utility layer enhancements may additionally fall brief.

The CEO mentioned he wouldn’t element particular AI services and products it plans to supply at the moment, however the firm will make extra bulletins later this 12 months on the AI entrance.

Airbnb acquired GamePlanner just a few months in the past, however it wasn’t clear precisely what the secretive startup did, past being tied to AI. Notably, GamePlanner was co-founded by AI pioneer Adam Cheyer, who co-founded Siri (which was offered to Apple) and Siamak Hodjat. In an announcement launched on the time of the acquisition, Airbnb means that the GamePlanner workforce would assist to speed up the corporate’s AI tasks by integrating its tooling into the Airbnb platform.

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