Does Airbnb use AI?

Thibault Masson

Updated on:

Does Airbnb use AI?

Airbnb has been using AI techniques for a long time. For instance, the travel company uses AI to power its ranking algorithm and decide which properties rank first in its search results. It also uses AI for its revenue management tools, such as its Smart Pricing feature, which automates the prices for hosts.

At Rental Scale-Up, we’ve also sketched out how Airbnb can leverage AI to build the Airbnb Concierge over the next years. As Airbnb starts offering more services beyond short-term stays and as the company collects even more user profile data, AI will enable the company to match services with its users.

In 2024, Airbnb acquired an AI company called Gameplannner.ai and started expanding how it leverages AI (and especially Generative AI) within its platform. Here are a few examples, most notably from the Airbnb 2024 Summer Release:

Photo Organization Using Computer Vision

Airbnb has developed a computer vision model trained on over 100 million photos. This model helps hosts organize their listing photos by room automatically. This organization is not just for aesthetics but has practical benefits—it increases the conversion rate of listings because potential guests find it easier and more appealing to view the organized photos.

airbnb ai photo tour

For instance, a host uploads various photos of their property, including multiple shots of the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. The AI model automatically categorizes these images into corresponding groups (e.g., all kitchen photos together). This helps potential guests to navigate through the photos easily, understanding the layout and amenities of the property more clearly, which could make them more likely to book the stay.

AI-Powered Quick Replies for Hosts

During its 2024 Summer Release, Airbnb introduced a feature that utilizes AI to predict and generate quick responses for hosts. This tool, located in the Messaging feature, helps hosts quickly and efficiently answer common questions from guests, enhancing communication and reducing the time hosts spend managing their listings.

airbnb ai messaging app

Imagine a host frequently receives questions about the check-in process. The AI tool analyzes these common inquiries and prepares suggested responses such as “Check-in is anytime after 3 PM. You will find the key in a lockbox; the code is 1234.” This allows the host to quickly select a pre-generated, accurate response, saving time and enhancing guest communication.

Reservation Screening Technology

To combat issues like unauthorized parties, Airbnb has implemented AI-driven reservation screening technology. This tool helps identify and prevent potentially problematic reservations, thereby ensuring a safer and more reliable experience for hosts and guests alike.

Consider a scenario where a group attempts to book a small apartment for a large number of people on a date coinciding with local events known for their parties. The AI-driven screening technology could flag this reservation as high-risk based on parameters like guest-to-bedroom ratio, event dates, and past guest reviews, thus preventing potential unauthorized parties.

Generative AI for Customer Service

Looking ahead, Airbnb plans to leverage generative AI significantly in customer service. This application will be particularly beneficial due to Airbnb’s global and diverse inventory and customer base. AI could help by understanding complex policies and assisting in customer service across different languages and cultural contexts.

A guest from Germany staying in Japan encounters a problem with the air conditioning unit and contacts customer service. An AI agent can instantly sift through Airbnb’s policies and past relevant cases to guide the customer service representative in providing a prompt, policy-compliant solution and communicating this effectively despite the language barrier.

AI-Powered Concierge Services

In the long term, Airbnb envisions transforming the guest experience by offering AI-powered concierge services. This would involve AI not just in customer service but also in enhancing search functionalities and the overall user experience on the platform.

In the future, a guest planning a vacation might use Airbnb’s AI concierge to find accommodations that fit very specific needs, like proximity to vegan restaurants and pet-friendly parks. The AI could also suggest local experiences, make reservations, check local weather, and even adjust the itinerary in real-time based on the guest’s feedback and changing preferences during the trip.

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