AI-generated profiles? Airbnb users prefer a human touch

phys.org | 2/24/2017 | Staff
hakimi308hakimi308 (Posted by) Level 4
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In an online marketplace like Airbnb, host profiles can mean the difference between a booked room and a vacant one. Too peppy, too long, too many exclamation points? Language is critical in a user's search for trust and authenticity, crucial factors in any online exchange.

With so much at stake, should Airbnb hosts rely on an algorithm to write their profiles for them?

Research - Cornell - Stanford - University - Everyone

That depends, according to new research from Cornell and Stanford University. If everyone uses algorithmically generated profiles, users trust them. However, if only some hosts choose to delegate writing responsibilities to artificial intelligence, they are likely to be distrusted. Researchers billed this the "replicant effect" – a nod to the movie "Blade Runner."

"Participants were looking for cues that felt mechanical versus language that felt more human and emotional," said Maurice Jakesch, a doctoral student in information science at Cornell Tech and lead author of "AI-Mediated Communication: How the Perception that Profile Text was Written by AI Affects Trustworthiness," which will be presented at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 4-9 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Theories - Profile - Jakesch - Mistakes - Profile

"They had their own theories of what an AI-generated profile would look like," Jakesch said. "If there were serious spelling mistakes in a profile, they would say it's more human, whereas if someone's profile looked disjointed or senseless, they assumed it was AI."

AI stands to revolutionize natural language technologies and how humans interact with each other. People experience some AI-mediated communication already: Gmail scans the content of our arriving emails and generates suggested, one-click "smart replies," and a new generation of writing aids not only fixes our spelling errors but polishes our writing style.

Instances - Intelligence - Operating - Mediator - Humans

"We're beginning to see the first instances of artificial intelligence operating as a mediator between humans, but it's a question of: 'Do people want that?'" Jakesch said. "We might run...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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