If you find it difficult to keep up with the amount of articles you want to read online, you may be interested in ExplainToMe, a new automatic article summarizer. Simply paste the web page URL of the article you want to read into ExplainToMe's search bar, specify how many sentences you want the article summarized in, and a mini version of the article will appear.
Created by San Francisco-based designer Sang Han, the app uses a ranking model called TextRank, which determines the importance of each sentence in an article based on the semantic relationships between words and phrases. According to Han, this is similar to how search engines generate web pages in response to a search query.
Since the process is automated, the summaries include the only the basic facts from an article, with the writer's style and personality lost. For this reason, ExplainToMe is best used for fact-based articles, such as news pieces or blog articles with specific tips, and less for pieces that tell a story.
Han is currently working on building a Facebook bot for the app, and is looking into developing web browser extensions, both of which would make the service even easier to use.
With so many articles and blogs using lists, bullets and bolded sentences, it's easier than ever to skim content. But for people looking for a way to cut down their reading time even more, ExplainToMe is worth a try.