Adobe rolls out new PDF AI chatbot for Reader and Acrobat

February 21, 2024

Adobe announced that it is rolling out a beta release of a generative AI chatbot that will be integrated into its Reader and Acrobat products.

The conversational AI is called AI Assistant and will save users from relying on tools like ChatPDF or having to upload a PDF to ChatGPT. With AI Assistant natively integrated into your PDF reader, you’ll be able to interrogate the document without additional tools.

AI Assistant can generate summaries and insights from long documents. It also answers questions about the content in the document and can format these outputs so that they’re easy to share in emails, reports, and presentations.

If you’re not quite sure what questions to ask, AI Assistant recommends questions based on a PDF’s content. When it answers a question, the custom attribution engine points you to the right spot in the document so you can verify the source of AI Assistant’s answer.

While PDF has become the most common document format, Adobe says that AI Assistant will work with other formats including Word, PowerPoint, and meeting transcripts.

If you’ve ever had to wade through a long PDF document for research or work, then you begin to understand the huge productivity boost a tool like this offers. Here’s an example of what AI Assistant could be used for.

What’s next?

Adobe says that this first iteration of AI Assistant is just the beginning of its plan to use generative AI to deliver intelligent document experiences. Its roadmap for AI Assistant includes:

  • AI Assistant currently works with one document at a time but in the future, it will be able to work across multiple documents, sources, and document types at once. A user will be able to ask a question and AI Assistant will draw insights from multiple sources.
  • Acrobat users will be able to use AI Assistant to generate first drafts, edit text, shorten copy, and get suggestions for content design and layout.
  • Adobe’s generative Firefly models will become more integrated with Adobe Express to add more creativity to your document creation.
  • AI-powered collaboration tools will make it easier to collate, analyze, and implement feedback and comments from team members.

While AI Assistant is in beta, it’s available for free if you have an Acrobat Standard or Pro Individual and Teams subscription plan. If you’re a Reader user then you’ll get access in the next few weeks.

Once the full suite of functionality is available you’ll need to pay for an add-on subscription plan but there’s no word on what that will cost.

Adobe is using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Services to power AI Assistant but hasn’t mentioned the context window or a character limit that the chatbot can handle though.

Adobe says that there are more than 3 trillion PDFs in existence and most of those have not been indexed to become part of searchable data on the internet. Abhigyan Modi, Adobe SVP of Document Cloud, said, “Generative AI offers the promise of more intelligent document experiences to transform information overload into actionable knowledge and professional-looking content.”

If tools like Adobe’s AI Assistant could effectively process document resources like research papers on arXiv, it could instantly unlock previously hard-to-access knowledge.

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.


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