Adobe Unveils AI to Search, Summarize PDFs

Adobe has unveiled an artificial intelligence assistant that can search PDFs, produce summaries and answer questions about a user’s PDF documents. The computer software company launched the AI assistant in its Acrobat applications and reader, and is planning to release a subscription plan for the tool once it is past beta testing.

Unlike other AI models, such as ChatGPT, which need users to upload a PDF document before providing an analysis, the AI assistant from Adobe will be built into its reader and applications. A news release said the AI assistant is currently available on Acrobat and noted that Adobe Reader’s built-in AI assistant would gain additional features over the next days and weeks.

According to Adobe, the artificial intelligence-powered assistant can help Adobe users digest information from lengthy PDF documents by creating brief content overviews. The AI assistant can answer user questions about a PDF document’s information via a “conversational interface” and suggest questions related to the document. Adobe says its new AI assistant can help users create citations that allow users to prove the authenticity of the answers the chatbot provides.

The chatbot can also create clickable links to help users jump directly to certain parts of massive documents and access specific information. It can also generate text for formats such as reports, presentations and emails, the news release said.

Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a recent interview that the new AI tool represents the software company’s goal of “democratizing access” to the trillions of PDF documents that are currently in use globally.

Described as a conversational engine, the tool can recommend more content based on what users are currently reading. It essentially allows Adobe users to “chat with documents” and learn what they need from long documents that would typically require much more time to summarize.

Adobe’s plan for the chatbox is to minimize the time-consuming tasks involved with working with large documents such as studying for research projects or creating highlights from massive reports to use in presentations, meetings and emails. The AI assistant can summarize and answer questions from all the document formats Adobe Reader supports, including PowerPoint and Word. Once it is launched, the AI assistant can also analyze a document’s content and consolidate it into formatted and digestible copy for reports, and presentations.

The AI assistant is currently available to Standard Adobe customers for $12.99 per month, Pro customers for $19.99 per month, and Teams subscription plans on both web and desktop.

Adobe’s announcement of AI that can search and summarize PDFs shows only a small glimpse of the ways in which major tech companies such as Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) are working to bring the disruptive powers of AI to every aspect of life as we know it.

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