Airbnb acquires secretive firm launched by Siri co-founder

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Airbnb has acquired a secretive new AI startup, GamePlanner.AI, the corporate introduced this morning. CNBC reports that the acquisition worth was round $200 million, a determine that TechCrunch was unable to substantiate at publication time.

GamePlanner was co-founded by Adam Cheyer and Siamak Hodjat. Cheyer famously helped co-launch the startup Siri, which Apple acquired and whose expertise turned the idea for Apple’s AI-powered Siri assistant. Hodjat beforehand labored with Cheyer at Viv Labs, a agency that Samsung purchased and leveraged to launch its personal AI assistant, Bixby, in 2017.

It’s not instantly clear what GamePlanner does. A LinkedIn search solely turns up two associates: Gabe Greenbaum, a common companion at B Capital who sits on GamePlanner’s board of administrators, and Joseph Huang, head of design at GamePlanner. GamePlanner hasn’t had an internet presence for a while; the Web Archive’s earliest cache of the web site (from December 2021) yields a clean web page.

However in a canned assertion, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky hinted that the 12-person startup combines experience in AI and design towards crafting AI-driven experiences, type of like an AI-focused consultancy.

“AI will quickly alter our world greater than every other expertise in our lifetime, however we have to make sure that it augments humanity in a constructive approach,” Chesky stated, including that the GamePlanner crew will deal with “accelerating” choose AI initiatives and integrating their tooling into Airbnb’s platform. “Airbnb is among the extra humanistic firms in expertise, and I imagine that, along with Adam and his crew, we will develop among the finest interfaces and sensible purposes for AI.”

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Chesky has made his AI ambitions for Airbnb clear within the current previous, saying that he needs to make use of generative AI to construct a “journey concierge” that learns about — and adapts to — vacationers. Provided that GamePlanner marks Airbnb’s first acquisition since 2019 (and its first as a public firm), it appears he’s severe about bringing that imaginative and prescient to fruition.

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