Originally posted on mirror
A new patent suggests that Airbnb could soon start scanning its users’ social media to detect if they’re psychopaths before agreeing to let them rent
It’s one of the most popular short-term rental sites, but a new patent suggests that Airbnb could soon start scanning its users’ social media to detect if they’re psychopaths.
The patent details new ‘trait analyser’ technology that could let Airbnb vet guests before agreeing to let them rent properties.
The patent, which was issued by the European Patent Office, explains that artificial intelligence technology could be used to assess various personality traits.
This includes ‘badness, anti-social tendencies, goodness, conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.’
According to the patent, these traits could be detected through a range of associations on social media, including links to alcohol and drugs, hate websites or sex work.
The patent, which was first spotted by the Evening Standard, also added that people ‘involved in pornography’ will be marked down by the system.
Meanwhile, the technology could also scan news stories linked to a user, including any articles related to crime.
Overall, the system would come up with a ‘compatibility score’ to decide if a user could rent a property.
While the patent doesn’t necessary mean that Airbnb will implement the technology any time soon, it suggests that the site is at least considering it.
The news has received a lot of backlash from users on Twitter , with one calling it a ‘disaster waiting to happen.’
One user said: “The stupidity & arrogance that they can think a piece of software can determine that. I’m sure it just flagged me for this reply.”
Another added: “If a human did this, we would call him prejudiced (or racist). But when a computer does this we call it a patent. Wtf @Airbnb.”