November 11, 2023
If you love traveling and staying in unique places, you probably know about Airbnb, the online platform that lets you book homes, apartments, and even treehouses from local hosts. But did you know that Airbnb is also using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its service and offer you more personalized and convenient options?
AI is the technology that enables machines to learn from data and perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as understanding language, recognizing images, and making decisions. AI is changing many industries, including travel, and Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky thinks his company has an advantage over traditional hotels.
In a recent meeting with reporters in New York City, Chesky said that AI will transform Airbnb more than hotels in the near term, because Airbnb has more of a digital product that can adapt and change faster. He said that hotels are not going to be different five years from now because of AI, but that Airbnb "will be transformed."
How will AI transform Airbnb? Chesky gave two examples:
AI will enhance the platform's customer service, which is a pain point for the company. Chesky admitted that there are 70 major policies that a customer agent might have to read through when an issue arises, and that each of them can be 100 words long with all the different constituencies. AI has the ability to read the corpus of all of its policies and understand the history behind 1.7 billion reservations as well as how prior issues were resolved, he said. This won't replace agents, but assist them in offering 24/7 support. Agents will then provide more bespoke services.
AI will help personalize the search process even more to help match users with their ideal home and experience. Chesky likened it to having a personal travel agent. He said that AI will take into account the user's preferences, budget, location, and other factors to suggest the best options for them.
Chesky is so confident in the power of AI that he plans to join the trend of staying in different towns and cities every couple of weeks, using Airbnb as his home. He said that the pandemic has created the biggest change to travel since the advent of commercial flying, and that he wants to experience it firsthand.
What do you think of Airbnb's use of AI? Do you prefer Airbnb or hotels when you travel? Let us know in the comments below. And stay tuned for more of the latest news in artificial intelligence!