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Airbnb makes anti-AI pledge to hosts

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Rosalie Bishop
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Airbnb wants to mold its hosts into a powerful organizing force, akin to a union, to advocate on its behalf with local governments around the world and to serve as an ideological rebuke to the advances of AI at other tech firms.

As part of that effort to increase engagement with hosts, CEO Brian Chesky announced today that he is embarking on a world tour, forming a host advisory board that will provide feedback to the company and sit in on one of its four annual board meetings, and do monthly check-ins with Airbnb users via Facebook Live.

“I want to be held accountable to the community,” Chesky, who is modifying his title to CEO and head of community, told a group of hosts gathered at Airbnb HQ.

“It’s incredibly important because when we sit in a room trying to make decisions, we want to make sure we’re doing it for the community, not to the community.”

Chesky will visit London, New York, Cape Town, Delhi, and Beijing to meet with hosts over the next couple of weeks, and hinted that more changes are coming to improve customer service and host experience.

Putting hosts front and center is part of Airbnb’s business strategy — after all, the company relies on people to list their homes for rent — but it also hints at Airbnb’s transition into political advocacy.

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Rosalie Bishop
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