How would you feel if you rented out your house for a few days, only to discover it was used for a party?
In recent years, this has become a prevalent issue. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, with bars and nightclubs shut down, many sought alternative venues to dance, drink, and socialize.
In response to this trend, Airbnb implemented a “global party ban” and pledged to tackle such misconduct. The platform faced criticism for its decision to limit rentals to individuals under the age of 25. Moreover, those who had previously caused disturbances in rented properties found themselves banned from making future bookings.
Thanks to these efforts, reports of parties decreased by 55 percent between 2020 and the following year. However, the fight against house parties is far from over for Airbnb. The company is now exploring the use of artificial intelligence to further address this challenge.
Now, if you’re looking to rent a place on Airbnb, artificial intelligence will scrutinize when you created your account and if you reside in the same city as the rental.
Moreover, the system will assess your booking patterns, especially during holiday seasons. A one-night stay might raise eyebrows.
“When someone books a single night on New Year’s Eve and they’re from the same city, it’s likely they’re planning a party,” comments Naba Banerjee, Airbnb’s Head of Security and Trust.
Banerjee further explains that if the AI concludes there’s a high likelihood of the booking being for a party, the reservation might be canceled, or the individual may be referred to partner hotel companies. This strategy aims to maintain trust among property owners.
Lucy Paterson, who’s let out her one-bedroom house in Worcestershire, England, over 150 times, is a testament to this trust. “While not every experience was flawless, 99 percent of my renters were fantastic,” she remarks. Paterson believes the single-room nature of her property diminishes the chances of it being used for parties.
Many users concur that Airbnb’s employment of artificial intelligence has bolstered their confidence in the platform.
As Banerjee points out, AI improves with more data and continued learning.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ERA IN CUSTOMER SELECTION
Turo, a dominant player in the car-sharing industry, has turned to artificial intelligence to enhance the security of its vehicle rentals.
A program named DataRobot AI swiftly identifies potential theft risks. The system also sets rental prices by considering factors like a car’s size, horsepower, speed, and the desired rental time or day.
Moreover, Turo’s AI engages with customers by responding to their messages and preferences, guiding them towards the vehicle best suited to their needs.
Albert Mangahas, who heads the relevant division at Turo, says their goal is to simplify the user experience while building trust with their customers.
Edward McFowland III, a member of the Harvard Business School faculty, asserts that AI’s deployment benefits both clients and businesses. However, he cautions that even the most refined AI models can err. For instance, an AI might unfairly deny a young individual looking to rent a place for New Year’s Eve without any plans for a party.
In Toronto, Canada, Lara Bozabalian offers her family’s spacious 300-square-meter home on Airbnb. Regardless of how promising a potential renter’s profile appears or whether the AI flags them, Bozabalian abides by one personal rule: “I don’t entertain first-time users.”
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