Taking a vacation can sometimes be extremely stressful – finding the right, affordable plane tickets, packing up, getting past the airport security hassles, and most importantly, finding a place to stay. In order to escape from the mind-boggling prices and taxes, we are introduced to a website, Airbnb, which lists apartments around the world for rent. Now, a new website which uses deep learning, suggests fake Airbnb listings which might look convincing enough for people to believe they are real.
How can we trust an Airbnb host and their listing? There are a plethora of photos, a detailed description and many reviews previous guests have left which ensure the apartment is the way it was described. Some apartments are even verified by Airbnb, and there is efficient support which makes sure everything gets processed in order. But, what if some fake Airbnb listings are just as accurate and convincing as real ones? What if we can’t tell the difference? Check out the listing below:
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What’s even more bizarre is that the deep learning algorithm was trained to generate such content by actual imagery posted on real Airbnb websites. The result is more than convincing, a detailed description, the warmth of the speech and photos which show the apartment just the way it’s described.
“This means that just about anyone with a couple hours to kill could create something just as compelling as I did,” Schmidt wrote on the website about his project. “While there are parts of the experience that are weak, overall, I think that it works: the listings are often dubious, but typically plausible enough that they would survive a quick glance.”
That said, rapid AI development can bring more suspicion and fake things than we’ve been used to. Just recently, a research organization, OpenAI, developed an AI text generator which uses small samples of text to create sets of convincing paragraphs usually found in tabloid news. While all these projects are indeed interesting, they do pose a slight fear and paranoia about having to make the difference between what is real and what is fake.