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Adobe adds its own AI-powered PDF tools, following the pack

Adobe PDF AIImage: Adobe

With AI services like Microsoft Copilot and Google Bard claiming to be able to easily summarize PDF documents at the drop of a hat, it’s a little surprising that Adobe itself hasn’t supplied AI tools itself. But now it has.

Adobe on Tuesday announced AI Assistant, a free, beta conversational engine inside of Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Instead of just summarizing the document, the tool will allow users to ask questions of it, clarifying details. Acrobat Standard, 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 said in a statement.

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Features include a true AI assistant, along with summarization features and citations. Naturally, the new AI Assistant tool can help find information within a document. Adobe is also claiming that the AI tools are still governed by its own data security protocols, so they won’t leak confidential customer data.

Adobe claims that there are already three trillion PDF files in the world, so a tool like this will be invaluable for clients. The company’s roadmap includes applying its AI tools to other file types beyond PDFs, plus AI-powered tools for document generation and editing. Adobe also plans to apply AI to human-suggested markup comments, suggesting edits to the document as a result.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Adobe is planning an AI subscription for these new features, which it hasn’t described. For now, the available AI Assistant technology is part of Acrobat Standard and Pro Individual and Teams subscription plans on desktop and web in English, with features coming to Reader desktop customers in English over the next few weeks. It’s all free, for now.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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