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Adobe launches AI assistant that can search and summarize PDFs

Don’t you wish you didn’t have to read the 45 pages of a PDF file and could get the gist of what the file said?

Adobe just announced this would be very much possible in Reader and Acrobat. The multinational computer software company announced yesterday that it is launching a new artificial intelligence (AI) Assistant tool in beta.

The AI tool will be integrated into Reader and Acrobat and can quickly create summaries and answer questions from long documents. It will also suggest questions that users might ask about a particular file.

AI assistant: A built-in feature

“Today we’re embarking on our next chapter of generative AI innovation by introducing our first capabilities for digital documents,” wrote Deepak Bharadwaj, Vice President of Product Management for Document Cloud at Adobe. 

“AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat, now in beta, is a new AI-powered conversational engine deeply integrated into PDF workflows,” he added.

A user could interact with the AI assistant in a conversational interface that would feel like chatting with a knowledgeable friend. It will also turn the information the user seeks into a format suitable for emails, reports, and presentations. 

The AI feature will be available in two products. The first is Acrobat Reader, which allows users to view, sign, comment on, and engage with PDF files of any kind. 

The other, Adobe Acrobat, is an enhanced version of Acrobat Reader, enabling users to create and edit text and images within PDF documents.

“Generative AI offers the promise of more intelligent document experiences by transforming the information inside PDFs into actionable, knowledge and professional-looking content,” said Abhigyan Modi, senior vice president of Document Cloud, in a press release.

“PDF is the de facto standard for the world’s most important documents and the capabilities introduced today are just the beginning of the value AI Assistant will deliver through Reader and Acrobat applications and services,” added Modi.

The beta version of the AI assistant will be, for the time being, available to Acrobat Individual, Pro, and Teams customers and Acrobat Pro trialists for no additional cost.

Meanwhile, Reader will get the AI assistant features over the coming days and weeks, announced the company. The AI Assistant is only available in English, but the company said they will add more languages in future versions.

AI Assistant won’t be limited to PDFs but will integrate with various document formats, including Word, PowerPoint, and meeting transcripts.

Adobe clarified that the AI Assistant operates within strict data security protocols, ensuring no customer document content is stored or utilized for training purposes without consent.

Adobe dabbles in generative AI

Adobe has previously introduced generative AI in Photoshop with a feature called Generative Fill. It allows users to create content by giving a text prompt and editing it using Photoshop tools. 

It's a bit like OpenAI's DALL-E. Adobe's move comes after it started accepting AI-generated stock images on its platform in 2022 and launched its own AI art generator called 'Firefly.'

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