Adobe Brings New Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to PDFs

On February 20th, Adobe introduced AI Assistant in beta, a new generative AI-powered  engine in Adobe Reader and Acrobat that provides revolutionary new capabilities for users of Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) – including generating summaries of PDFs.

AI Assistant instantly generates summaries and insights from long documents, answers questions, and formats information for sharing in emails, reports, and presentations.

AI Assistant leverages the same artificial intelligence and machine learning models behind Acrobat Liquid Mode, an Adobe technology that supports responsive reading experiences for PDFs on mobile.  

According to Abhigyan Modi, senior vice president for Adobe Document Cloud. “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.”

How it Works

Acrobat Individual, Pro and Teams customers and Acrobat Pro trial users can use the AI Assistant beta today, with features coming to Reader over the coming days and weeks. Adobe says no complicated implementations are required.

The user simply opens the Adobe Reader or Acrobat and can start working with the new capabilities, including:

  • AI Assistant: AI Assistant recommends questions based on a PDF’s content, and answers questions about what’s in the document via an intuitive conversational interface.
  • Generative summary: Users can get a quick understanding of the content inside long documents with short overviews in easy-to-read formats.
  • Intelligent citations: Adobe’s custom attribution engine and proprietary AI generate citations so customers can easily verify the source of AI Assistant’s answers.
  • Easy navigation: Clickable links help customers quickly find what they need in long documents.
  • Formatted output: Users can ask AI Assistant to consolidate and format information into top takeaways, text for emails, presentations, reports, and more. A “copy” button makes it easy to cut, paste and pass along.
  • Respect for customer data: AI Assistant features in Reader and Acrobat are governed by data security protocols and no customer document content is stored or used for training AI Assistant without their consent.
  • Beyond PDF: Customers can use AI Assistant with all kinds of document formats (Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, meeting transcripts, etc.)

AI Assistant Security

Adobe notes that 30 years after it created the PDF, its Acrobat application remains the gold standard for reading, editing, and transforming PDFs, and can be found on desktop PCs, the Web, mobile devices, as a stand-alone application, and embedded in leading browsers and productivity apps like Microsoft and Google.

The company says that AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat has security guardrails. Enterprise-grade security and information governance are available for large business customers. AI Assistant is developed in alignment with Adobe’s AI Ethics processes. With AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat, Adobe takes an LLM-agnostic approach, selecting best-in-class technologies that address a range of customer use cases.

Adobe prohibits third-party LLMs from training on Adobe customer data. For more informatin about AI and security, visit Adobe here. 

AI Assistant Use Cases

Examples of how AI Assistant can be used include:

  • Project managers can scan, summarize, and distribute meeting highlights in seconds.
  • Sales teams can personalize pitch decks and respond to client requests in minutes.
  • Students can shorten the time they spend hunting through research and spend more time on analysis and insights.
  • Social media and marketing teams can quickly identify top trends and issues.

Visit Adobe here to see how people are using AI Assistant.

The Future of AI Assist

Adobe’s road map ahead for AI Assistant capabilities includes:

  • Insights across multiple documents and document types: AI Assistant will work across multiple documents, document types and sources, instantly identifying the most important information from everywhere.
  • AI-powered authoring, editing, and formatting: Last year, customers edited billions of documents in Acrobat. AI Assistant will make it simple to quickly generate first drafts and help with copy editing – instantly changing voice and tone, compressing copy length and suggesting content design and layout.
  • Intelligent creation: Key features from Firefly, Adobe’s family of creative generative models, and Adobe Express will make it simple for anyone to make their documents more creative, professional, and personal.
  • Elevating document collaboration with AI-supported reviews: Generative AI will make the process simple, analyzing feedback and comments, suggesting changes, and even highlighting and helping resolve conflicting feedback.

Pricing and Availability

Reader and Acrobat customers will have access to the full range of AI Assistant capabilities through a new add-on subscription plan when AI Assistant is out of beta.

Until then, the new AI Assistant features are available in beta for Acrobat Standard and Pro Individual and Teams subscription plans for desktop PCs and the Web in English, with features coming to Reader desktop customers in English over the next few weeks. Other languages will follow. A private beta is available for enterprise customers. 

For more information, and to watch a video about how AI Assistant works, visit Adobe here.