Airbnb CEO (ABNB) Brian Chesky said artificial intelligence is on the cusp of igniting a tech "revolution" that will affect "everything and everyone."
And he has big plans to integrate the technology into the Airbnb experience.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday, the co-founder of the home rental platform lauded recent advancements in generative AI, largely driven by OpenAI's ChatGPT program, saying it will disrupt the travel industry on "the most fundamental level."
"There are a lot of buzz words, but once in a while they've become revolutions," Chesky told Yahoo Finance about AI's rise to prominence in recent months. "This is a revolution."
Chesky is just the latest CEO to tout the vast potential of AI, even as government and business leaders caution against its rapid deployment.
On Thursday, the White House met with CEOs from top companies researching and building AI products, calling for the ethical development of the technology to mitigate potential risks.
"In order to realize the benefits that might come from advances in AI, it is imperative to mitigate both the current and potential risks AI poses to individuals, society, and national security," the White House said in a statement. "These include risks to safety, security, human and civil rights, privacy, jobs, and democratic values."
Advances in tech always present new opportunities and challenges. Generative AI is no different.
Today, I met with CEOs of companies at the forefront of these advances to discuss the responsibility that governments and companies have to mitigate risks to protect the public. pic.twitter.com/YQOkdv1BgR
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 5, 2023
Chesky likened current developments around AI to the early days of the internet and mobile, adding the use of the technology will be as ubiquitous as electricity. In its initial phase, Airbnb plans to integrate AI to improve cost efficiencies around customer service, and potentially supplement seasonal workers, he said.
"We have millions of people living together every night. You imagine somebody calls from Japan and they're having an issue with a guest from Germany, they speak different languages, and have to adjudicate between 70 different user policies," said Chesky. "AI can augment them and solve these problems so much more quickly."
On the application side, Chesky said AI has the potential to improve the user experience by helping the platform better understand customer needs.
"We can now use AI to better learn about you, understand you," he said. "We can fine tune the model and eventually be able to match you."
Chesky joined Yahoo Finance to discuss the company's latest product launch, called Airbnb Rooms, which will be dedicated to renting private rooms while offering users more detail information about hosts.
Airbnb is also reducing the guest service fee for longer stays, while allowing users to split up the total cost of its rental through four installments, in a partnership with Klarna.
The company also announced plans to fine tune its platform with existing tools, announcing more than 50 new improvements for renters and hosts, to address existing pain points and ultimately make vacation stays more affordable.
"We're seeing that people are interested in traveling, but they also want to make sure that the traveling options they have are more affordable than before...given inflation and other economic factors," Chesky said. "We think [Airbnb Rooms] could be a really good option for a lot of people."
Akiko Fujita is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AkikoFujita