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Airbnb has power to warn hosts about ‘narcissistic’ guests

Lucy Dean
Famous narcissistic psychopath, Patrick Bateman was played by Christian Bale in the film American Psycho. Image: Lions Gate Films, Sony Pictures Releasing.
Famous narcissistic psychopath, Patrick Bateman was played by Christian Bale in the film American Psycho. Image: Lions Gate Films, Sony Pictures Releasing.

Bad news, fellow Adonis's, Airbnb might be about to start cracking down on narcissism.

The accommodation platform has bought a patent for technology which scans potential guests’ online personalities for signs they might damage the accommodation, reports the Evening Standard.

The artificial intelligence (AI) will scan social media sites for signs of “conscientiousness and openness” against signs of “narcissism, Machiavellianism, or psychopathy”.

So if you’re a youth of remarkable beauty, it might be time to stop taking all those golden hour selfies.

The technology first came to light in a patent issued by the European Patent Office published last year.

The AI will also pick up on users who gave false details, are frequently pictured with drugs, alcohol, hate organisations or sex work.

“Every Airbnb reservation is scored for risk before it’s confirmed,” Airbnb said on its site.

“We use predictive analytics and machine learning to instantly evaluate hundreds of signals that help us flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens.”

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Cheskylast year announced the platform would ban the use of properties as “party houses” on the platform after a shooting in California left five people dead.

"Starting today, we are banning 'party houses' and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorised parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda," Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said on Twitter.

"We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable."

Airbnb isn’t the first company to use AI to scan users.

Recruiters use AI to cut unconscious bias, with tools like Textio used at McDonald’s, British Airways, American Express, BP and Atlassian.

Other tools like PredictiveHire have been used to screen applications, identifying traits associated with former high-performing employees to seek out the best match.

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