Airbnb has acquired GamePlanner.AI, a stealth 12-person startup for an undisclosed sum as part of plans to advance AI capabilities within its travel platform.
The company said in statement the deal will allow it to build on existing AI services, which includes its newly-released AI-powered Photo Tour. The startup is led by Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri, and Siamak Hodjat who led both the natural language processing team for Siri at Apple and the largest engineering team for Viv Labs at Samsung.
Together Cheyer and Hodjat will focus on accelerating select AI projects and integrating their tools into the travel platform, Airbnb said.
Speaking on the new deal, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said: “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.”
As well as co-founding Siri, which was acquired by Apple, Cheyer also led server side engineering and AI for Siri, while working alongside Steve Jobs. He later co-founded Viv Labs, which was acquired by Samsung and is now known as the company’s voice assistant Bixby. In addition, Cheyer was previously on the founding team of Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform.
He added: “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.”