Automatic Summarization

Definition of Automatic Summarization

Automatic summarization refers to the use of artificial intelligence techniques and algorithms to generate condensed versions of lengthy text documents, articles, or reports. This technology aims to extract essential information, maintain coherence, and present it in a concise, easily understandable format. It enables users to quickly grasp the main points of a large volume of text without having to read the entire content, saving time and effort.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Automatic Summarization” is:ɔːˈtəʊmætɪk sʌmərəɪˈzeɪʃən/ɔː’təʊ.mæt.ɪk ˌsʌm.ər.aɪ’zeɪ.ʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Automatic summarization involves using algorithms and techniques to create concise summaries of longer documents or text, allowing users to quickly grasp the main ideas and concepts.
  2. There are two primary methods of automatic summarization: extractive summarization, which selects and combines important phrases or sentences from the original text, and abstractive summarization, which generates a new summary by understanding and rephrasing the key points.
  3. Automatic summarization has various practical applications, such as improving information retrieval, simplifying text for easier comprehension, and creating quick overviews of lengthy articles or documents, ultimately saving the user time and effort.

Importance of Automatic Summarization

Automatic summarization is important in today’s technology-driven world, as it allows for the efficient extraction of key information from vast amounts of data, catering to individuals and businesses alike.

This technique, which leverages natural language processing and artificial intelligence, saves time and effort by providing concise, relevant summaries of lengthy documents, articles, or vast datasets.

Furthermore, automatic summarization improves accessibility, aids decision-making processes, streamlines research, and supports the information overload faced in various digital platforms.

In essence, it serves as a valuable tool for enhancing productivity and empowering users in a time when information is constantly growing and evolving.


Automatic summarization plays a crucial role in the fast-paced world of information dissemination, as it aids users in rapidly understanding the core message, purpose, or crux of a lengthy document. With massive amounts of articles, research papers, and multimedia data being generated every day, readers are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content. Automatic summarization tackles this issue by condensing large portions of text or speech into a concise summary, allowing users to extract the most relevant information at a glance.

Furthermore, this technology proves invaluable for professionals and researchers who must quickly assimilate knowledge from a wide array of sources to make informed decisions or maintain expertise in their respective fields. In order to achieve this, automatic summarization utilizes advanced algorithms and natural language processing techniques to identify and extract key points, phrases, and ideas from a given source. It can be further classified into two types: extractive and abstractive summarization.

Extractive summarization automatically selects important sentences from the original text, then combines them to form a coherent, concise summary. In contrast, abstractive summarization goes beyond simply selecting phrases or sentences; it aims to generate an entirely new summary, akin to what a human would provide, by comprehending, interpreting, and rephrasing the main ideas of the original text. As a result, automatic summarization technology not only helps users consume vital information more efficiently, it also reduces cognitive workload and saves valuable time, enabling them to focus on other pressing tasks.

Examples of Automatic Summarization

Google News: Google applies automatic summarization to gather and display relevant news articles from numerous sources and provide easy-to-skim summaries for users. These summaries offer an overview of the content, allowing users to grasp the main points quickly and decide whether to explore further or continue browsing other stories.

Microsoft Word’s “AutoSummarize” feature: Microsoft Word’s AutoSummarize tool uses algorithms to condense lengthy text documents into shorter summaries. The tool extracts the most important points and creates an abridged version, helping users save time and focus on the crucial information.

TLDR This: TLDR This is a browser extension that uses artificial intelligence to automatically summarize long webpages, cutting through the noise and presenting only the main points to the users. By analyzing the text, it generates a concise summary that can save time and improve browsing efficiency for readers.

FAQs about Automatic Summarization

1. What is automatic summarization?

Automatic summarization is a process that involves using algorithms and techniques to automatically generate a concise and condensed version of a larger text, presenting the most important and relevant information from the original source.

2. What are the main types of automatic summarization?

There are two main types of automatic summarization: extractive and abstractive. Extractive summarization techniques identify and select the most important sentences or phrases from the source document and combine them to create a summary, while abstractive summarization techniques generate a summary by rephrasing and rewriting the original text using natural language processing.

3. What are some common applications of automatic summarization?

Automatic summarization has various applications, including news summarization, research article summarization, meeting summarization, and generating summaries for search engine results and social media posts. It helps users consume information more efficiently and save time when reading large amounts of text.

4. What are the challenges involved in automatic summarization?

Some common challenges in automatic summarization include preserving the meaning and coherence of the original text, selecting relevant information, handling multi-document summarization, dealing with redundancy, and adapting to different domains and languages.

5. How does automatic summarization work?

Automatic summarization typically involves a series of steps, such as preprocessing the input document, extracting important sentences or phrases, reordering or rephrasing the extracted information if needed, and generating the final summary. Different techniques and algorithms, including statistical, rule-based, machine learning, and deep learning approaches, are used for these tasks.

Related Technology Terms

  • Extractive Summarization
  • Abstractive Summarization
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Text Analysis
  • Machine Learning Algorithms

Sources for More Information

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