Arc Browser’s New AI-Powered ‘Pinch-to-Summarize’ Feature: A Clever Addition With Room For Improvement


The Browser company’s Arc, known for its focus on a less cluttered web experience, has introduced a new feature in its mobile app Arc Search. This feature utilizes AI to summarize web pages, and it involves a clever “pinching” gesture that displays a neatly formatted summary with the main points. While this feature has garnered attention for its innovative approach to interacting with AI, there are concerns about its potential impact on news publishers and the reliability of the generated summaries.

Key Takeaway

Arc Browser’s new AI-powered ‘pinch-to-summarize’ feature offers a visually appealing and convenient way to obtain summarized information from web pages. However, the feature has shown limitations in accurately capturing critical details, raising concerns about its reliability and potential impact on news publishers.

The Pinch-to-Summarize Feature

The new feature in Arc Search allows users to pinch a web page, prompting the browser to present an AI-powered summary with various points. The gesture is not only visually appealing, with a smooth origami-style folding animation, but also provides a convenient way to obtain summarized information while on the go. However, in testing, the AI summaries have shown inconsistencies and limitations.

Limitations and Concerns

Despite the visually satisfying pinch-to-summarize gesture, the AI-powered summaries often miss critical information. For example, when attempting to summarize an updated story addressing an online hoax about Gmail, the summary failed to capture the essential details. Additionally, the feature encountered difficulties when attempting to summarize non-English content, raising questions about its language support. While the AI-generated summaries proved useful in some instances, there were instances where crucial information was omitted, highlighting the challenge of fully relying on these summaries.

Furthermore, concerns have been raised about the potential negative impact of AI-powered summary features on journalism and news consumers. The inability to share the generated summaries along with the source’s link and the lack of reliability in capturing crucial information raise questions about the feature’s overall trustworthiness. Additionally, there are broader discussions about the value of data for AI and the need for increased accuracy and reliability, especially given the significant investments in AI technology.

Future Improvements and Considerations

As Arc continues to develop its AI-powered features, including the ‘Browse for me’ search and incognito mode, there is a need to address the limitations of the summary feature and improve its reliability. Additionally, the company should consider the potential impact of its AI-powered features on content creators and the web ecosystem as a whole. Enhancing the quality and accuracy of AI-generated summaries is crucial to ensure their value to users and content creators.

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