Nathan Laundry's Blog

ABScribe: Rapid Exploration of Multiple Writing Variations in Human-AI Co-Writing Tasks using Large Language Models

Accepted at CHI 2024
Github: ABScribe


Exploring alternative ideas by rewriting text is integral to the writing process. State-of-the-art large language models (LLMs) can simplify writing variation generation. However, current interfaces pose challenges for simultaneous consideration of multiple variations: creating new versions without overwriting text can be difficult, and pasting them sequentially can clutter documents, increasing workload and disrupting writers’ flow. To tackle this, we present ABScribe, an interface that supports rapid, yet visually structured, exploration of writing variations in human-AI co-writing tasks. With ABScribe, users can swiftly produce multiple variations using LLM prompts, which are auto-converted into reusable buttons. Variations are stored adjacently within text segments for rapid in-place comparisons using mouse-over interactions on a context toolbar. Our user study with 12 writers shows that ABScribe significantly reduces task workload (d = 1.20, p < 0.001), enhances user perceptions of the revision process (d = 2.41, p < 0.001) compared to a popular baseline workflow, and provides insights into how writers explore variations using LLMs.