Has Airbnb patents

Airbnb and Co: Patent shows how guests could be rated using social media profiles in the future

The accommodation broker Airbnb is booming - but it also regularly makes bad headlines. In many cities there is resistance to the sale of housing, more and more cities are putting Airbnb landlords in their place. There are also frequent acts of violence in accommodation. After shooting in a house in California that was rented through Airbnb in the fall, company boss Brian Chesky announced that all houses - seven million units - and landlords would be checked on Airbnb and so-called "party houses" would be removed from the offer.

But tenants should also be scrutinized more closely. As reported by the Evening Standard, a £ 2.5 million downtown apartment in London was ravaged by ravers. The woman actually rented her apartment for a baby shower.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could prevent such cases in the future. A patent application from Airbnb describes software that can check potential guests for characteristics such as "openness" or "conscientiousness". The program could use "secure third-party databases" for this purpose. In addition to social media and credit checks, criminal records could also be queried.

Negative points for negative language

The potential tenants are to be rated using a points system. Deduction is made for "false or misleading information" in online profiles or when the person is associated with alcohol, drugs, sex work, pornography or "negative language". The algorithm should also be able to evaluate signs of narcissism, psychopathy or neuroticism.

With the help of machine learning, the algorithm is then supposed to predict how likely the person is "a positive actor in an interpersonal interaction," according to the patent. A person's score should also be able to influence the rating of friends and acquaintances.

Airbnb informed the STANDARD that the functions mentioned will not be used. The patent for the tool comes from the start-up Trooly, which carried out background checks and was taken over by Airbnb in 2017. According to the company's website, each reservation is checked, rated and checked against government and terrorist lists before confirmation. In addition, Airbnb announced that it would detect so-called high-risk bookings based on hundreds of factors, including the length of stay and the size of the accommodation. (red, 8.1.2020)

The article was supplemented by details and the statement from Airbnb on 9/1 at 2 p.m.

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