Our AI principles
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been central to Zillow since our founding in 2006 with the launch of the Zestimate, marking the first time consumers could find an instant, free estimate of their home’s value.
As our use of technology evolves, our pro-consumer approach to innovation remains at the core of our mission to make home a reality for more and more people. Given the hundreds of millions of people searching for housing online today, it’s vital that consumers are equipped with safe, trustworthy tools that are used responsibly to make the process of searching for, renting, buying, or financing a home more equitable and transparent–and less daunting. Zillow’s use of AI is a critical component of advancements that benefit consumers, our partners, and employees. Here’s how.
Help more people get home.
We strive to use AI to help make renting, buying, selling and financing easier, affordable, and safer for customers. We use AI tools to help consumers understand what’s possible, empowering them to navigate the real estate process without obligation or judgment, making housing more accessible and equitable and helping to close gaps that have persisted for too long.
Enable partners to provide greater value to customers.
Great agents are critical to helping customers get home. We strive to use AI to help agents become even more productive and successful, with tools to help scale their operations, automate mundane tasks, and access data that matters so they can focus on delivering what only they can: the human component.
Empower employees to do more and go further.
Employees are the backbone of Zillow, and they choose to work here in part because of our proven commitment to responsible innovation. We use AI to empower employees to continue the work of shaping our industry with greater efficiency and excellence and to, in the process, accelerate their own career development as the nature of work evolves.
Ensuring responsible use of AI
In addition to our core values, we are guided by the following principles to inform responsible development, evaluation and deployment of AI technologies.
We prioritize fairness in the design, evaluation, and deployment of AI systems across Zillow, understanding the distinct influence that the models we use have on housing opportunities. Therefore, we test and review our training data and models to help create a fairer marketplace. We strive to continuously improve our models and ensure that they empower everyone, including historically marginalized communities and members of protected classes by minimizing and actively avoiding recreating existing patterns of discrimination and segregation.
Safety & accountability
We strive to apply standards and best practices for the collection, use, and validation of both internal and external data used in our models and apply prevailing standards to assessing third-party models we may utilize. As AI technology continues to develop, we will work to be leaders in its responsible use in all contexts, keeping in mind both new opportunities and new risks. We aim especially for a deep understanding of our domain and of the impacts our AI systems have on our customers, their privacy, the security of their data, and their housing journey.
We follow rigorous privacy and security policies and standards to ensure customer, partner, and employee data remains secure. When integrating external data into our models, we conduct thorough due diligence to assess its reliability and accuracy. We actively share our progress, learnings, and areas for improvement within Zillow to foster trust and accountability.
One of Zillow’s founding principles is to empower people with information in what used to be an incredibly opaque and daunting process of searching for a home. We have the same opportunity with the AI systems we are building. We believe it is important to ensure that consumers are aware of when they are interacting with AI tools developed by Zillow and others and that they understand how Zillow uses these tools to improve their experience. We strive to empower customers to understand and decide whether and how their data is used to shape their experience on our platform.
We are dedicated to fostering responsible AI dialogues and spearheading meaningful conversations on how to effectively and ethically integrate AI into the real estate industry to create internal efficiencies and new consumer tools. We actively engage with industry participants, lawmakers, nonprofit organizations, research institutions, and other stakeholders to shape and inform pro-consumer AI public policies.
We build AI systems capable of understanding consumers’, partners’, and employees’ unique needs, avoiding broad generalizations that might marginalize segments of our society. We evaluate our AI systems from diverse customers’ perspectives and continuously work to improve our AI systems to serve our customers’ needs throughout all stages of their home journey.
We proactively identify AI models and systems where customers might be treated and prioritized differently. Through monitoring and evaluation, we test and analyze our AI technologies with the aim of mitigating the risk of bias and discrimination, providing equal opportunities and experiences for all people.