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‘Ask AI’ in Author

Because AI queries while writing are likely quite different than when reading, we are looking at adding AI to Author directly, once we have it in Reader.

Goal: Give users the power of AI when writing to help them evaluate & understand their material, how it connects to other knowledge in their field and to present it cogently.


Issue Command

User ctrl-clicks on selected text and a new command ‘Ask AI’, appears at the very top of the list, with a series of specific questions to ask the AI about the selected text:




Once the user chooses an option from the sub-menu, it is appended to the selected text, up front, forming a prompt for the AI to operate on. So in the example above, if the user chose the first one, the prompt would be ‘Suggest what to write next: Although…’



The results are shown in a floating window, with the prompt in the title, where the query text is shown in a box, as below, and the results below. The text can be interacted with to copy it. To dismiss simply close the window.



Users will need to supply their own OpenAI API keys (same as the approach for AI in Liquid and macGPT) where they can also turn on and off commands.

Clicking [+] produces this dialog, same as clicking [Edit] for a current command:


First use

If the user tries to perform an ‘Ask AI’ action without having entered an API key, a dialog stating:

Author cannot locate a key for OpenAI to use ‘Ask AI’.

[Learn about OpenAi] [Cancel] [Enter Key]


Initial Commands

This is the current list, subject to testing, with keyboard shortcut suggestions, which we may end up not using, subject to testing.

  • ‘Suggest what to write next’
  • ‘Show me more examples’
  • ‘What does this relate to’
  • ‘Show me counter examples’
  • ‘Clarify this text’
  • ‘Write more academically’
  • ‘Explain the concept of’
  • ‘Is this correct?’
  • ‘Create a timeline of this’
  • ‘Edit’ (which opens Reader’s Preferences to allow the user to design their own)


Alternative Additional Process: Chat

If it’s also possible to support ChatGPT, then the conversation will continue in the results window, with a text entry dialog at the bottom.

Since chat and single questions are such different interactions, it would probably be useful to have, under ‘Ask AI’ an option to ‘Chat with AI’ which goes straight to the results window with the cursor before the selected text, for the user to add a prompt to start a chat.

‘Enter’ or click a send icon bottom right, same as in the ChatGPT interface, to execute