Torino – In the new era of artificial intelligence technology will necessarily include the ability to listen to emotions, which drive the consumption and decisions of human beings and companies. This is also why Italy has important cards to play in the historical phase that is about to begin: he is convinced of this founder of Airbnb, Brian Cheskywho discussed the major issues of technology and innovation with the CEO of Exor, John Elkannin the most important moment of Italian Tech Week, the conference underway in Turin.
“When I went to Silicon Valley I wanted to study industrial design – said Chesky -, I didn’t think of working in the tech world. As a designer, however, I realized that technology was available, we just had to use it, because a designer always thinks about the user the final”.
Airbnb was born in 2007 from market demand and thanks to technology. Today it is one of the large tech groups and among the few – underlined Elkann, who instead has an engineering background – not to be led by a technologist. But how to combine the technological soul and that of design? The answer also comes from the contemporary: the advance of artificial intelligence can favor the union between technology and thought, between hard skills and humanistic studies, lowering the barriers to access. Where then is value created? “Having divergent thinking is fundamental. Here in Italy – said Chesky – there is a great cultural tradition. Precisely for this reason Italians can represent a fundamental ingredient that is also good for the entire tech world: not only engineers and not only designer”.
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“Artificial intelligence will play an important part in our lives – continued Elkann – and the human side will take on new value. Emotions are important, even if we don’t talk about them enough”. Chesky agrees with this view: obviously companies must make decisions based on measurable numbers and phenomena. But until now some aspects of life were difficult to measure, while – says the founder of Airbnb – “we need more intuition and emotion”. To confirm this managerial approach, Chesky also returned to the complicated times of the pandemic for a sector such as tourism. “In just a few weeks we found ourselves losing 80% of our turnover while we were preparing to go public. Many in those days wondered if we would ever survive as a company.” At that point Chesky reflected on the difficult decision of the time, when he was forced to cut nearly two thousand employees. “We have been open in addressing the problem, I wrote a letter to everyone. Data can take you up to a certain point, but care, the ability to manage people’s emotions, really takes you forward”, he concluded . The character Brian Chesky: “It is wrong to attack Airbnb, tourists will pay dearly for New York’s squeeze” by Pier Luigi Pisa 26 September 2023 Topics