How to ask good questions

FAQ on prompting 'Ask AI'

John Paul Keeler avatar
Written by John Paul Keeler
Updated over a week ago

What kind of questions can I ask?

The AI can answer questions about a particular patent. It sees the text of the patent and some of its metadata such as its title and applicants but it does not see other context such as the other search results or the text of the cited patents. It also does not see images. (But it may be able to answer questions about images or cited patents based on the information in the patent text.)

Here are some generic questions people have had success with:

  • Summarize.

  • Explain this invention to me like I’m five.

  • What problem does the invention solve?

  • What is the solution to the problem?

  • What are the benefits of the invention?

  • List the main embodiments of the invention.

  • List all part names with reference numbers.

  • What is the distinguishing feature over prior art mentioned in the patent?

  • What applications are mentioned?

If you are interested in a specific aspect, you can ask about it directly:

  • Summarize aspects related to [fuel efficiency].

  • Does the patent mention [smart regenerative control unit]?

  • How does this invention impact [vehicle mileage]?

  • Is any of this claimed in the invention? …

  • Can this be used for …?

Can I make multiple questions in a single message?

Yes. For instance, rather than asking three questions separately, you can combine them into a single message:

1. What problem does it solve?
2. How does it solve it?
3. What are the main benefits?

A benefit of combining questions is that you can save credits. Each multi-patent message costs one credit per each document that it is targeting. Asking three questions about 100 documents will cost you 300 credits if you ask them separately, but only 100 credits if you combine them.

Be aware, though, that very long and hierarchical questions may be challenging for the AI to answer correctly. Also, the AI has a limit on the maximum length of the answer, and the answer will end abruptly when it reaches this limit.

Can I ask the AI to cite the paragraph where it found the answer?

Yes, by including this request in your question. You can, for example, ask:

What embodiments does this document mention? Cite the relevant paragraph numbers and summarize the embodiments.

Be sure to double-check the answer, since the AI is known to sometimes mix up what paragraph is what.

Can the AI answer questions about patents written in languages other than English?

Yes. The AI sees a machine-translated version of the document – the same translation that you see in the IPRally app.

Is Ask AI able to understand synonyms or related words?

Yes, as long as they are commonly known ones. For example, if you ask about mentions of "micro-organisms" in the document, the AI is smart enough to include mentions of "bacteria".

Any more tips on how I can get better answers?


  • Provide enough context in the question. E.g. If you want to ask whether the patent would be considered prior art for an invention, include the invention description in your question.

  • Ask follow-up questions to dig deeper.

  • If you notice an incorrect answer, consider clearing the chat before asking more questions. The AI tries to give answers that are in line with the patent document and the conversation so far. Therefore, if some of the earlier answers are incorrect, the follow-up answers may be incorrect too.

  • Try to make your question grammatically correct. Due to the way the AI is trained, grammatically correct questions are slightly more likely to be answered by factually correct questions.

  • Try to use precise language to form your question. This way the AI will be able to answer your exact concern.

  • When working in a new domain, pick up domain vocabulary from Ask AI answers. Then try asking the questions again using vocabulary you just learned, and see if the answers are better.

What limitations does Ask AI have?

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