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Airbnb plans to use AI for 'ultimate concierge' service, leveraging gameplanner acquisition

2 mins

Alina  Chernomorets

Published by: Alina Chernomorets

16 February 2024, 04:53PM

In Brief

Airbnb acquired GamePlanner.AI, a stealth AI firm co-founded by one of Siri's creators, in November for an estimated $200 million.

CEO Brian Chesky revealed Airbnb's AI strategy, focusing on excelling at the "application layer" of AI and leveraging technologies from established players like OpenAI and Google.

Chesky highlighted the need for a new AI interface to access modern models, envisioning AI as a transformative platform shift akin to the rise of mobile technology.

Airbnb plans to use AI, particularly generative AI, to improve user experiences with adaptive and personalized services, resembling an ultimate concierge.

Despite promising AI ambitions, challenges such as complex systems and inaccuracies, known as hallucinations, must be addressed. Specific AI products and services are yet to be announced, but the acquisition of GamePlanner signals Airbnb's commitment to integrating advanced AI tools into its platform.

In November, Airbnb made headlines by acquiring GamePlanner.AI, a stealth AI firm launched by one of Siri's co-founders. Reports estimated the deal at around $200 million. While Airbnb didn't reveal its plans for GamePlanner initially, CEO Brian Chesky recently shed light on the company's broader AI strategy.

Chesky emphasized that Airbnb aims to excel at the "application layer" of AI, focusing on building innovative AI interfaces rather than developing its own AI infrastructure. Instead, Airbnb intends to leverage AI technologies from established players like OpenAI, Meta, and Google.

…Though the [AI] models are very powerful, the interface is really not an AI interface. It’s the same interface as the 2000s. It’s a typical, classical web interface. So we feel like the models, in a sense, are probably underutilized. Here’s another way of saying it. Take your phone and look at all the icons on your phone. Most of those apps have not fundamentally changed since the advent of generative AI. So what I think AI represents is the ultimate platform shift

Brian Chesky

The CEO highlighted the need for a new interface to access modern AI models, suggesting that current interfaces are outdated. He envisions AI as a transformative platform shift comparable to the rise of mobile technology after the internet's creation.

Airbnb plans to harness AI, especially generative AI, to enhance user experiences and provide personalized services. Chesky described an adaptive and evolving interface that functions like the ultimate concierge, catering to users' preferences in real-time.

Imagine an app that you feel like knows you — it’s like the ultimate concierge — an interface that is adaptive and evolving and changing in real-time, unlike no interface you’ve ever seen before. That would allow us to go from a single vertical company to a cross-vertical company

Brian Chesky

While Airbnb's AI ambitions sound promising, there are challenges to overcome. Current AI systems can be complex to use and prone to inaccuracies, resulting in what's known as hallucinations—instances where the AI generates false information.

Although specific AI products and services are not detailed yet, Airbnb intends to make more announcements in the future. The acquisition of GamePlanner, co-founded by AI pioneer Adam Cheyer, signals Airbnb's commitment to accelerating its AI projects by integrating advanced tooling into its platform.

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