According to a report by The Information, OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is considering creating a market for AI models.
This AI app store will allow companies to buy and sell custom bots tailored to specific needs.
The goal is to make advanced chat software more useful across industries.
Companies can use these chatbots for various purposes, such as providing quick answers to industry-specific questions using existing data.
Competition and potential opportunities
The rumored OpenAI marketplace could compete with existing partners like Salesforce and Microsoft, who run their own shops selling AI chatbots built on OpenAI technology.
However, opening up its own market could enable OpenAI to distribute its tools to many clients and gain an edge over competing AI companies Anthropic and Cohere.
The move highlights the tensions that can emerge between technology partners when they become competitors.
While OpenAI currently relies on companies like Salesforce and Microsoft to expand its reach, the startup may feel ready to sell its tools outright and lock in more profits.
Information indicates that CEO Sam Altman has told developers about plans to market AI, but the company says there is no active effort to build a market.
Early interest in the ChatGPT app store
Even at the conceptual stage, the proposed OpenAI market has attracted the interest of two companies – Aquant and Khan Academy.
Aquant, which provides software for guiding customers through hardware repairs, modified OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot using data from customer support tickets and employee feedback.
Now, Aquant is offering this custom chatbot on the Salesforce AppExchange and ServiceNow Store and will look into the OpenAI marketplace to reach more customers.
Khan Academy, a non-profit focused on education, has also developed its own version of ChatGPT called Khanmigo to act as an AI tutor for teachers and students.
Khan Academy has fine-tuned the chatbot using materials from test preparation and academic presentations, adding filters to prevent cheating and ensure appropriate responses in the classroom.
The organization is looking at ways to distribute Khanmigo more widely, possibly through an OpenAI store.
Lessons from previous initiatives
Earlier this year, OpenAI launched ChatGPT plug-ins, allowing users to interact with websites such as OpenTable, Shopify, or Expedia.
However, these additional ingredients have not become popular, which highlights the need for further product development and market research.
For an AI app store to resonate with corporate customers, OpenAI must provide a workable solution for industries like retail, finance, healthcare, and more.
App Store offerings must handle critical missions, integrate with companies’ existing systems, and generate business value to justify purchase over established alternatives.
OpenAI may be tempted by the opportunity to control the distribution and marketing of its technology.
However, prematurely launching a large-scale AI market can spread thin and excluded partners to a company, putting key relationships at risk.
For a company establishing its market position, improving its core offering may be the smartest move before creating a new distribution channel.
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