Poe introduces multi-bot chat and plans enterprise tier to dominate AI chatbot market

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Poe, the artificial intelligence chatbot platform launched by question-and-answer site Quora, is rapidly expanding as it seeks to become a one-stop shop for users to access a wide variety of conversational AI models. With a recent $75 million funding round and a spate of new features, Poe is betting big on the potential of a thriving ecosystem around AI-powered chatbots and the creators who build them.

The most significant new capability is “multi-bot chat,” which allows users to simultaneously interact with multiple AI models in a single conversation thread. Poe provides context-aware recommendations to compare bot responses and enables users to call any bot into the chat simply by @-mentioning it, akin to using Slack. 

For example, a user could leverage GPT-4 for analysis, Claude for creative writing, and DALL-E 3 for image generation — all within one fluid exchange. As the universe of AI models with varying strengths proliferates, Poe aims to streamline how people find the optimal combination of bots for their needs.

Poe’s vision: The ‘App Store’ of conversational AI

This positions Poe to potentially become the “app store” or “web browser” for the emerging wave of conversational AI. Just as smartphones centralized access to a plethora of single-purpose apps and web browsers did for websites, Poe envisions a future where most companies offer public-facing chatbots. Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo sees Poe as the platform to unite them.

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To kickstart this bot economy, Poe has unveiled monetization tools for creators. Developers can now set per-message pricing for their bots, in addition to earning a cut of Poe’s subscription revenue. Enhanced analytics give bot-makers granular data on usage and revenue to optimize their pricing. The goal is to spawn a new class of prompt engineers and bot developers who can make a living solely on the Poe platform.

For enterprise decision-makers, Poe offers a window into the future of how customers and employees may prefer to retrieve information and accomplish tasks. An intuitive interface to experiment with blending different AI models could uncover novel applications tailored to a company’s unique needs. Poe plans to launch an enterprise tier to let organizations manage the platform for their workforce.

Challenges and uncertainties in the bot economy

However, challenges remain. It’s unclear if there is enough differentiation between chatbot experiences to warrant a dedicated discovery portal, compared to the clear diversity of mobile apps or websites. Quality control and content moderation will be crucial as Poe opens its doors to more third-party bots. Prompting and responsive UI design are still emerging skills, so the average developer may struggle to create compelling chatbots. And large language models remain expensive to run, putting pressure on Poe’s unit economics.

Nonetheless, Poe’s rapid product development and fresh funding prove there is immense interest in the nascent bot economy. If Quora can cultivate a network of trusted bot creators and deliver consistently engaging user experiences, it has a shot at building the defining platform for the generative AI era. Companies across industries should keep a close eye on Poe and consider how conversational AI may reshape their business in the years ahead.