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Innovation

Arc browser is offering the most truly helpful spin on AI I've seen so far

Arc browser decided it was time to throw its hat into the AI ring but opted to go a much different route than most browsers and it should pay off.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Arc of light
Qi Yang/Getty Images

I'm not a fan of AI. At least not when it comes to certain things, such as art (in any of its forms). I believe such technology has no place in the artistic realm.

But as far as helping to improve technology and how users work with applications, AI does have a number of important use cases. 

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Most web browser companies are going for the typical AI sidebars, which is all fine and good because it can seriously empower web searches (so long as you vet the responses you receive for accuracy).

But when it came time to decide to add AI to Arc browser, the company behind the software decided it wanted to take a very different approach. What it's adding to the browser is not only unique but could help to level up Arc browser until it's perfectly capable of standing with the biggest competitors in the market.

Introducing Arc Max

Arc Max is a collection of five AI-powered features, powered by a combination of GPT-3.5 and Anthropic. Those features are:

  • Ask ChatGPT - this will allow you to ask ChatGPT your questions directly from the Arc Command Line, which can be brought up with the Command+L keyboard shortcut.
  • Tidy Tab Title - if you've ever pinned a tab, you might have experienced an instance where the title of the tab is too lengthy to be of any help. With Tidy Tab Title, Arc browser uses AI to rename the tab to make it easier to locate.
  • Tidy Downloads - this is similar to Tidy Tab Title, only AI will be used to rename downloaded files to an actual descriptive title.
  • Five-Second Previews - If you hover over any link in Arc browser and press the Shift key, Arc browser will fetch a brief summary and preview of the link in question.
  • Ask On Page - When you use the Find feature (Command+F) to locate a word or phrase on a website, if your keyword (or phrase) isn't found, Arc will lean into AI to find an answer for you.

The goal of Arc browser is not to force AI into the faces of users but to take a more subtle approach and add features that are actually useful on a daily basis.

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It's my humble opinion that this is exactly the approach all web browser makers should take. Give the users tools that can leverage AI and have real-world, everyday applications. Instead of giving users the tools to "cheat" with AI (such as writing papers, articles, and books for them), give them something that makes using a web browser more efficient and helpful.

Another reason why I really appreciate Arc browser's take on AI is that it won't make the browser feel bloated. I've experimented with some browsers that have opted to go all in on AI and I wind up disabling those features because the "browser as everything" never works well. Think of Firefox in the early 2000s and how bloated and slow it became.

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Given that the majority of users on the planet spend the majority of their time in a web browser, those tools need to not be weighed down by features they'll only use on occasion. With Arc browser's take on AI, users will actually use the features daily and won't feel as if the browser has been hindered by the addition. Browsers need to be fast and useful, not slow and useless. Every browser maker on the market should take a lesson from what Arc browser is about to release.

Speaking of which, you can download Arc Max for MacOS now or put yourself on the waitlist for the Windows version.

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