Adobe Acrobat's new AI assistant can summarise PDFs

Adobe’s AI Assistant will stop you from needing to read through so many work documents (Adobe)
Adobe’s AI Assistant will stop you from needing to read through so many work documents (Adobe)

Adobe’s AI obsession continues with an integration in Adobe Acrobat that can summarise documents, including PDFs, to reduce reading time dramatically.

It’s called AI Assistant in Acrobat and has been released in beta form.

The front end is a chatbot, allowing you to ask questions about documents, while it can suggest questions based on what’s in these.

Many people tend to immediately think of PDF files when Adobe Acrobat is mentioned. However, this AI will also support other document types, including presentations from Microsoft PowerPoint.

The bad news? It’s not free given that it’s part of Adobe’s “Acrobat Standard and Pro Individual and Teams subscription plans.”

Acrobat Standard costs £23.26 a month, or £13.14 a month with a year’s commitment.

Adobe says there won’t be additional charges for the AI features during the beta phase. However, after its full launch, an “add-on plan" will unlock the full suite of features.

It wants to get you hooked on those time savings so it can persuade you to pay added costs.

Of course, for many Acrobat AI Assistant will be a feature to use while at work. Adobe suggests it will be used by project managers and marketing teams, or students looking to prune the time spent researching topics.

It doesn’t take too much of a leap of logic to picture Acrobat’s AI Assistant used by MPs to ensure they never need to read a policy document properly ever again.

Adobe says it has put in additional features to mitigate the risk of AI hallucinations. These involve AI making stuff up to effectively fill in gaps in generated content.

They are in the form of “intelligent citations,” which link claims made in the AI-generated summary to the relevant part of the source document.

“Generative AI offers the promise of more intelligent document experiences to transform information overload into actionable knowledge and professional-looking content,” says Abhigyan Modi, Adobe senior vice president of the Document Cloud division.

This is the latest in a whole series of AI applications from Adobe. In Photoshop, the “generative fill” feature is used to make up whole new areas of image data.

More recently, Adobe teamed up with TikTok to make the Creative Assistant tool in Adobe Express. This aims to help people make more successful social media content with less effort.