How Adobe Brings Conversational AI To 'Trillions Of PDFs' With its 'AI Assistant'

Adobe AI Assistant

The AI sphere was rather quiet, dull and boring. It rarely made ripples outside its own realm, and barely disrupt the global industry.

But since OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, things changed. Tech companies began competing in an arms race that sooner than later, the technology can seemingly decimate those that didn't jump into the bandwagon and piggyback the trend.

And Adobe is introducing yet another AI that comes following the generative AI hype.

After introducing Firefly, an AI-powered image generator, to its products, like Photoshop, the company is putting another form of generative AI to its next popular products.

The "new assistant," introduced in beta builds on Acrobat Liquid Mode, is aimed to "further unlock document intelligence with new capabilities in Reader and Acrobat."

In its announcement, Adobe said that:

"Today's release is Adobe’s first step in transforming digital document experiences with generative AI for consumption and creation."

" [...] Deeply integrated into Reader and Acrobat workflows, AI Assistant instantly generates summaries and insights from long documents, answers questions and formats information for sharing in emails, reports and presentations. AI Assistant is bringing generative AI to the masses, unlocking new value from the information inside the approximately 3 trillion PDFs in the world."

The idea is have AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat is to transform long documents and overwhelming information into "helpful insights and easy-to-understand, actionable content."

Adobe gave some examples, saying that with it, project managers can summarize and distribute meeting highlights in seconds, and that 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, and that social media and marketing teams can quickly surface top trends and issues into daily updates for stakeholders.

To make this happen, AI Assistant uses AI and machine learning models to have a deep understanding of PDF structure and content.

Because AI Assistant is powered by a generative AI, it allows the recommendations of questions based on a PDF's content, and answer questions about what's inside the document, allowing users to interact with the AI to gain summary, citations, and receive results using methods, like formatted outputs.

It also boasts an easy navigation, where users can click on links the AI generated to find what they need, and more.

"Customers can use AI Assistant with all kinds of document formats (Word, PowerPoint, meeting transcripts, etc.)," said Adobe.

"AI Assistant streamlines the time it takes to compose an email or scan through a contract of any kind, delivering productivity to knowledge workers and consumers everywhere [...] ," said Adobe.

To show what it meant, Adobe has compiled a number of videos into a YouTube playlist to show how people are using AI Assistant to save time and get insights faster.

Initially, Reader and Acrobat users can have access to the AI capabilities through a new add-on subscription plan when AI Assistant is out of beta.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and that it was created by Adobe in the early 1990s.

Fast forward, the format has become one of the most widely-used file format for documents, by revolutionizing how people share and view documents.

From a simple document, say a report, a presentation, or even a form, pretty much anyone can share it with others using PDF, which acts like a virtual paper, preserving the document's layout, fonts, images, and even interactive elements, regardless of the device or software used to open it.

PDFs are like the Swiss Army knives of document formats, in which it includes features, like encryption, the ability to add annotations, forms, and even multimedia elements like videos or audio clips.

PDFs allow users to turn static documents into an interactive experience.

Back in June 2023, Adobe wrote in a blog post, that "there are more than 3 trillion PDF documents on the planet with new use cases emerging every day."

With AI Assistant, Adobe plans to bring generative AI to each and every single one of them.