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Popular Q&A platform Quora jumps aboard the AI chatbot train


Poe is alive. That’s the name of a new chatbot app supported by artificial intelligence (AI), that Quora, a company owning an extensive Q&A platform, has just opened up to the general public. Competition is already fierce, though.

Just like the Quora website itself, the new app lets users ask questions. The difference is that the answers are provided by a range of AI chatbots – including those from ChatHGOT naker, OpenAI.

So far, Poe – developed independently from Quora – is only available on IOS, Quora Chief Executive Adam D’Angelo said in a blog post, but it is going to be unrolled on all major platforms in the next few months.

More AI-based bots from more companies are also coming, and Quora had improved the app since it was announced back in December when you needed the invitation to try it out. Poe stands for “Platform for Open Exploration.”

“As you may have observed through developments in image and text generation over the last year, researchers are making incredible progress toward creating human-level AI. And this progress is accelerating,” D’Angelo said.

“I expect this AI technology wave to be far more transformative than the personal computer, the internet, or the smartphone, and I expect it to have a much larger and more positive impact on society and on the world economy.”

To use Poe, users have to create an account and verify it with a phone number and an email address. They can then switch between three different AI chatbots and their modes available for now.

poe-stuff
Chatbots on the Poe app. Image by Cybernews.

These are general knowledge chatbots Sage, Claude, and Dragonfly. The latter is powered by Anthropic technology while Sage and Dragonfly were created by OpenAI. Users who have already tried Poe say the chatbots have certain limitations.

For example, Sage and Claude know nothing of events after 2021, so if you want to find factual information on, say, Russia’s war on Ukraine, look elsewhere. Dragonfly takes one step further and may simply refuse to answer some questions. All three have also been known to make incorrect statements.

Precisely this – the abundance of factual inaccuracies – has been a cause for concern among those who think AI-powered tech is not exactly ready for primetime.

ChatGPT is reported to have attracted 100 million users in the first two months of its launch, and other companies are rushing to introduce their own chatbot variants.

However, The Wall Street Journal has recently shown how ChatGPT was fairly bad at maths and was funnily confident in returning entirely wrong answers.

Quora’s rival, another Q&A site Stack Overflow, has banned users from posting answers created by ChatGPT – also because of inaccuracies. The platform said: “Because the average rate of getting correct answers from ChatGPT is too low, the posting of answers created by ChatGPT is substantially harmful to the site and to users who are asking and looking for correct answers.”

This is a problem Quora acknowledges and says the company is hoping that the social nature of the app will help users discover cases where Poe can be applied immediately.

“Please keep in mind that the AI available through Poe is not perfect, so it will be useful in some cases but not in others. We will do our best to fix the problems within our control as quickly as possible, but it will take time for AI research to continue to advance to the point where many of the flaws today are addressed,” D’Angelo said.


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