Opera's AI features likely to benefit consumers

Aria can use Opera's refinement tool — like other chatbots
An undated image showing Opera browser interface. — Opera
An undated image showing Opera browser interface. — Opera

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being embraced by all tech companies. Recently the web browser, Opera also stepped on the bandwagon as it now has an AI chatbot named Aria that, at first glance, doesn't seem all that different from any other chatbot you might come across in 2024.

Aria — a standard browser chatbot

Opera lacks proprietary AI technology, in contrast to Google and Microsoft. Rather, OpenAI and Google jointly power Opera's chatbot, Aria. That being said, none of the answers are particularly ground-breaking and are more or less in line with what one might anticipate when utilising Gemini or ChatGPT.

Moreover, Aria appears as a quirky "A" icon in Opera's sidebar. Opera will walk the user through creating an account if the user hasn't already, as using Aria requires one. Nevertheless, the browser needs a few tries to figure out that users have linked their accounts.

Reuse and rephrase option

Reuse will drop the text selection as a mini tab directly above the text field. Aria works with the selection the user reused in the previous question when the user asks it again. In addition, users have the opportunity to stack items that are found helpful by being able to "reuse" up to five text snippets from a prior inquiry.

Conversely, there is a rephrase feature, which allows users to change the entire response if something doesn't seem right. However, by using rephrase, users can ask Aria to retry just certain passages from the response as opposed to the full response. Opera even incorporates a humorous animation when it rewrites the passage, switching between any number of alphanumeric characters for each letter until it reaches the new statement.

Refine user’s responses

Aria can use Opera's refinement tool, just like other chatbots, to customise the bot's responses.

However, this one is rather good: first, you can choose to write in the format of an essay, blog post, email, presentation, social media post, speech, or article. Enter your desired task for the chatbot after selecting one, and then select a tone: formal, informal, neutral, academic, business, humorous, or sarcastic.

This is where delving deeply into the weeds is possible — user may teach Aria to write in their way by going to the "My Style" area. Aria first asks the user to compose a four-to-eight-sentence product review for something the user recently purchased, a five- to 10-sentence formal complaint to the establishment of the user’s choice, and a lighthearted text about weekend plans to a friend.

Not groundbreaking, but beneficial

AI chatbots haven't proven to be very helpful to users so far, Aria may not be the revolutionary new tool users have been waiting for. But these tools seem helpful if users are already using AI daily.

Moreover, the reuse option is the user’s favourite because it seems like a quick and effective way to extract the most pertinent information from an old response and create a fresh one that truly provides a useful answer. If users are already enjoying the Opera browser, adding AI to their daily routine can be subtle with Aria in the sidebar.