Airbnb Started Using AI to Detect Potential Psychopaths
Popular hosting service Airbnb launched an AI-powered algorithm that checks the psychological and mental health of its users through scanning their activity on the internet.
The tool was developed by Trooly, a startup Airbnb had acquired back in 2017.
Airbnb’s website specifies the main working principle of the new algorithm as follows:
“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.”
Apart from detecting potentially dangerous mental deviations, such as psychopathy or narcissism, the software scours the web to assess users’ “trustworthiness and compatibility”. For instance, the AI marks down those found to be associated with fake social network profiles, involved with pornography, drugs, alcohol, hate websites or “content with negative language”. It also checks a person’s blogs, social media posts, and possible criminal records.
Though the reasons why Airbnb is eager to implement such a tool are quite obvious, it is hard to say, whether an AI can actually tell whether a person is a psychopath or some other kind of unwelcome individual depending solely on his or her internet behavior.
“We are rushing into reliance upon machine learning in making decisions that normally humans would exercise judgment on,” – Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, noted on the matter.