US-based vacation rental company Airbnb has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) company GamePlanner.AI for an undisclosed sum.
However, CNBC reported the deal is valued at just under $200m.
Since its inception in 2020, Gameplanner.AI has been operating in stealth mode. The startup work behind closed doors for a variety of reasons, including intellectual property protection and avoiding distractions.
The 12-person AI company was co-founded by Adam Cheyer and Siamak Hodjat.
Cheyer was one of the co-founders of Apple‘s voice assistant Siri.
Later, he co-founded Viv Labs, which Samsung purchased and rebranded as Bixby, the company’s voice assistant.
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Hodjat, alongside Cheyer, co-led the engineering team for Viv Labs at Samsung and the natural language processing team for Siri at Apple.
Airbnb said Cheyer and Hodjat’s team will focus on advancing certain AI initiatives and incorporating their products into the company’s platform.
Airbnb noted that it has been utilising AI —machine learning, large language models, and computer vision models —in various aspects of its services.
Recently, an AI-powered photo tour tool was included in Airbnb’s 2023 Winter Release.
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.”
GamePlanner.AI co-founder and CEO Adam Cheyer said: “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 is the limit. The Airbnb team understands this better than anyone.”