Airbnb, the home-sharing titan, just made its first move into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) with the acquisition of GamePlanner AI, sealing the deal at just under $200 million, insiders spilled to CNBC.
GamePlanner AI and its stealthy rise
GamePlanner AI, operating incognito since its 2020 launch, has been playing it cool in the tech scene’s shadows. This stealthy startup practice meant to shield their secret sauce or dodge distractions didn’t escape Airbnb’s radar. Airbnb plans to rev up its AI initiatives by tapping into GamePlanner AI’s expertise.
The team at Airbnb had been looking forward to this acquisition for a while now. “What makes GamePlanner.AI so special is that they combine expertise in AI, design, and community. AI will rapidly alter our world more than any other technology in our lifetime, but we need to ensure that it augments humanity in a positive way. Airbnb is one of the more humanistic companies in technology, and I believe that, together with Adam and his team, we can develop some of the best interfaces and practical applications for AI,” said Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky on the official company page.
Adam Cheyer: The brain behind the code
The mastermind steering GamePlanner AI is Adam Cheyer, a heavyweight in the AI arena and one of Siri’s original creators. Cheyer, who once teamed up with the legendary Steve Jobs during Siri’s Apple takeover, continued to make waves by co-founding Viv Labs, a cornerstone for Samsung’s voice assistant. Now, he’s hitching GamePlanner AI to Airbnb’s wagon for what promises to be an AI-driven revolution.
“A big part of what attracted us to Airbnb was our shared commitment to using AI to enable human connection. Like Brian, I believe that without great design and community-based intelligence, AI can only achieve a fraction of its potential. But with them, the sky’s the limit. The Airbnb team understands this better than anyone,” said Cheyer.
Airbnb’s take on generative AI
Airbnb’s big boss, Brian Chesky, sees generative AI as a game-changer. He envisions it as a “travel concierge,” learning the ropes from users to jazz up their travel experiences. Picture this: a tailored room or home suggestions that suit each user’s taste. With GamePlanner.AI in tow, Airbnb is charging ahead to turn Chesky’s vision into reality, using AI to craft more personalized and intuitive travel adventures, says CNBC.
This isn’t just Airbnb’s first acquisition since 2019; it’s a peek into what might be a shift in their merger and acquisition playbook. With profits on the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) scoreboard and a hefty $11 billion in cash and assets by September’s close, Airbnb is flexing financial muscle. The move hints at a future where Airbnb isn’t just a travel heavyweight and a tech player in the dynamic AI landscape.
Hold on tight as Airbnb takes the plunge into the AI deep end. The GamePlanner AI deal is more than a financial transaction; it’s Airbnb’s bold stride into a future where tech and travel seamlessly blend for the benefit of millions of Airbnb users worldwide.
Featured image credit: Oberon Copeland @veryinformed.com/Unsplash
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