Inside Quora’s Quest For Relevance Using AI

Quora’s CEO, Adam D’Angelo, is heavily investing in AI, particularly in the platform called Po, which allows users to engage with multiple AI models simultaneously. The shift towards Po, a premium subscription service offering access to various AI models for specialized tasks, reflects Quora’s focus on innovation and adapting to the evolving tech landscape to enhance its relevance and potential growth.

Quora’s CEO, Adam D’Angelo, is heavily investing in AI, with a focus on the platform called Po, which allows users to chat with multiple AI models simultaneously. D’Angelo has stated that most of the company’s energy is now directed towards Po, which was launched last year. This shift means less focus on Quora, the 15-year-old Q&A forum founded by D’Angelo. Po is a premium subscription service that provides access to various AI models, enabling users to compare how each model approaches the same prompt. Developers can build bots on top of these models for specific tasks, creating new revenue streams.

Quora and Po serve different purposes: Quora is a message board for answering questions, while Po is a platform for open exploration through AI models. Po offers access to models such as OpenAI GPT-4, Anthropic’s CLAID, and Google’s Gemini, allowing users to experiment with different AI capabilities. The service enables developers to create specialized AI tools, like travel booking assistants or educational resources, and earn money per query. D’Angelo likens Po to a web browser for AI, making the technology more accessible to users, similar to how Netscape did for the internet three decades earlier.

The idea for Po emerged from Quora’s AI experiments using OpenAI GPT-3 to generate answers for questions on the platform. While the AI-generated answers were not as good as human-written ones, they found a niche in providing responses to unique or obscure questions that no human had addressed before. Recognizing this, D’Angelo and his team developed Po as a service resembling private chat, tailored for AI interactions. Quora’s focus on Po comes at a crucial time as the platform faces questions about its relevance compared to competitors like Reddit, which has evolved into a cultural hub and recently went public.

Quora’s longevity and relevance have been debated, with some speculating about its future amid changing online landscapes. Despite claims of Quora’s decline, the platform still boasts 400 million monthly users. The company’s shift towards AI with Po raises questions about its trajectory, whether it will remain a social forum supported by advertising or transition into an AI player. With recent funding from Andreessen Horowitz to expand Po, Quora seems poised to embrace the latter path. D’Angelo’s enthusiasm for AI and the potential of Po showcases the company’s commitment to staying relevant and innovative in the evolving tech landscape.