Social credit systems increasingly common even in western democracies

Airbnb is now using an AI-powered tool to scan social media for signs that a guest might trash a renter’s home or be a psychopath.

According to documents reviewed by the Evening Standard, the tool finds posts on the internet, criminal records and other information to identify personality traits such as narcissism and psychopathic disorders. Airbnb acquired a startup Trooly in 2017 that developed the method.

This is an uncomfortable reminder that the technology behind the ominous Chinese social credit system will be used in democracies as well. A key question will be to what extent political views are sanctioned. For example, would someone who expresses radical political ideas on social media risk being classified as less trustworthy by Airbnb and denied service? Navigating these issues provides ample ground for Better Future researchers to dig into. 

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