Artificial Intelligence and Publishing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining steam, and there are lots of really interesting experiments and initiatives happening.

One example is using AI to get an idea of a book’s market potential. Enter Booxy, which analyzes “a book to generate comps (comparable titles) and predict reader experience,” according to Huffington Post. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to analyze an author’s style and then match it to how readers experience that style. 

Another cool example is Janelle Shane’s neural network, which according to Electric Literature, is working on writing the first line of a novel. This is based on a large database of first lines from novels, and requires a lot more input, but it will be interesting to see what it comes up with.

Career Authors offers some advice for authors when it comes to AI: keep writing, and in the future your work will be more accessible because of AI (more languages, and on more devices).

Authors may also be able to make use of chatbots. According to Molly Greene, there’s Bookbot Bob and Bookbot Bill, which sends information about books to readers. Authors can pay a fee to have the chatbots promote their books for a certain amount of time.

On the flip side, Smart Marketing for Authors recommends not jumping on the messenger bot bandwagon too soon (mainly because it’s not personal enough). In other messenger bot news, Facebook shut down M, its virtual assistant bot, according to The Verge. But, there are plans to use those AI elements in other services.

In general, AI still requires a fair amount of work. Content Marketing Institute talks about success factors for AI-based marketing. This includes defining outcomes and having a large data set.

For fun, here are a few more AI projects:

  • Teachable Machine: An experiment where you can teach a machine, using your camera.
  • O RLY Cover Book Generator: An easy way to generate a book cover, O’Reilly style.
  • Twinkle Twinkle: An example of a science fiction story written by an algorithm.
  • Harry Potter chapter: An example of a Harry Potter chapter written by a bot that had some interesting lines (such as “He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family”).
  • Google Homes arguing: Funny video of two bots arguing over whether they’re human.
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