Saturday, April 29, 2023

AI Resources for PDFs: Still Buggy in May 2023

Update 5/24/2023.  I have often had poor results with ChatPDF, maybe it will get better.  For example, it would fail to find topics that were a major topic of the PDF.

In late May 2023, ChatGPT offered plugins to subscription members for GPT4.  There are two for PDFs, but both worked poorly.   

  • LINK READER APP gave great summaries but 3/3 times to the wrong paper, not what I provided a link for!   That's useless.
  • The other one, ASKYOURPDF, found the right documents, sometimes requiring a drag/drop upload if the link didn't end in PDF, but that's livable.  But ASKYOUR PDF seems to be designed only to retrieve a relevant snippet to your question, so it's pretty narrow or dumb AI.

I'm sure things will get better but ChatPDF website, and plugs ASKYOURPDF and LINK READER all had pretty big gaps for me so far.


A surprising entry in the world of AI add-ons is   Overcome the limits of ChatGPT text input (2000 words, a couple pages of text).  Article here.  It may not be the most brilliant AI, but it's free and worth checking out.


One of the limitations of ChatGPT is the it takes in text, not PDFs, and limited amounts (about 2000 words per instruction).   

Here comes  Even with a free account, you can upload 3 PDFs per day, and then see summaries and analysis of the PDF by AI.   You can ask questions of the PDF ("Summarize the main methods used in this paper.")  No more cutting text sections of a PDF into ChatGPT 2000 words at a time.  

Find it here:

(Free, 3 PDFs per day.  With an additional $5/mo, you can upload 50 PDFs per day).   

Some screenshots:

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It's not perfect, for example, it couldn't identify authors of the paper, contact info, nor institutions.  Maybe it does not access footnotes.  I had to ask twice to get the "number of references," so the AI is not always brilliant.  But it's a novel model (uploading lengthy PDFs) and it's free.

See CHATPDF look at CMS's "TCET" plan for new technologies - here.

For websites that break very long texts into 2000-word chunks, see Andy Stapleton's video here.