Airbnb Uses AI to Tell If Guests Are Psychopaths
Fri, December 9, 2022

Airbnb Uses AI to Tell If Guests Are Psychopaths

Airbnb will now be using an AI-based background check tool to determine a person’s “untrustworthy” traits / Credits: Asawin Klabma via 123RF


Last October 2019, five partygoers were killed on Halloween night at a house in the affluent town of Orinda, US, that had been rented through Airbnb. Reports show that the owner of the home stated that he had rented out the house to a woman who told him she was planning to have a family reunion for about 12 people only. However, more than 100 partygoers fled the house after the shooting happened. 

Days after the shooting, residents have become frustrated by the police response. According to The Guardian, a daily British newspaper, the people have turned their focus on Airbnb policies instead of the victims. To address this, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced in a tweet that they are banning party houses as well as redoubling their efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct.

Aside from that, Airbnb will now be using an AI-based background check tool developed by Trooly, a startup acquired by Airbnb in 2017. The tool will screen potential customers’ information online, including social media posts and their criminal world. They are trying to determine a person’s “untrustworthy” traits, including narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The tool will also conduct a “deep internet search” to find news articles mentioning their names. At the same time, they could also see how people treat others in real life by checking social connections, work history, and educational background. 

According to Medical Daily, an online site dedicated to covering health and science news that matters most to our generation, the AI tool can detect illegal activities online that are linked to drugs, alcoholism, prostitution and hate websites. “Every Airbnb reservation is scored for risk before it’s confirmed. We use predictive analytics and machine learning to instantly evaluate hundreds of signals that help us flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens,” Airbnb said on its website.