Airbnb uses AI-enabled trait analyser to check if its customers are psychopaths

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

A new technology developed by Airbnb conducts background check and evaluates the users’ reliability, compatibility, behavioural and personality traits.

According to a report by the Evening Standard, the technology, which is a ‘trait analysing software’, was built after the online lodging and homestay platform received complaints from hosts in London that some of their guests used their properties for rowdy parties. One such incident reported by an owner reveals that her £2.5 million flat was misused and wrecked by hundreds of drug-fuelled ravers, who rented the property ostensibly for a baby shower.

In 2019, Airbnb’s background check technology was revealed in a patent issued by the European Patent Office and published in the US.

The patent states that Airbnb could deploy its software to scan sites including social media for traits such as “conscientiousness and openness” against the usual credit and identity checks. Personalities like “neuroticism and involvement in crimes” and “narcissism, Machiavellianism, or psychopathy” are “perceived as untrustworthy”.

Last month, Google announced tests which argued its AI could beat human doctors at detecting breast cancer. The technology has potential for future applications and could actually enhance the accuracy and efficiency of screening programs, along with reduced wait times and stress for patients.

Around the same time, the company partnered with several conservation organisations to launch an AI-powered online portal “Wildlife Insights”, which has more than million photos dating back to 1990 and can access them and pinpoint the location of wildlife from anywhere. It helps collaborators to drop their own clicked images to map wildlife across the globe and grow the database.

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