In March a novel co-authored by an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm moved into the second round of submissions for a national literary contest in Japan. What may have seemed like momentary buzz suddenly gave the publishing industry pause. Is technology capable of replicating the human process involved in creating something as powerful as the written word?
While a world where robots rank on the New York Times bestseller list is still light years away, the industry is starting to acknowledge the impact that AI is having on publishing.
Technology is often accused of decentralizing systems currently in place, but with publishing, the opposite is true. In the next five years the use of aggregated data will empower the publishing pipeline to allow industry authorities to make more informed and fairer decisions based on what readers want.
Ultimately a data-driven process, rather than producing works of inhuman genius (although that may of course happen too…) will change the industry by empowering readers to drive what type of literature is chosen and released to market in an unprecedented way.
Data-driven publishing is just the beginning of turning the book selection process at publishing houses into a science. Instead of going through the pitch-rejection process, data will be able to identify genre, style and subject preferences for publishing houses based on reader response.
Imagine a world where you were guaranteed that a book would sell before it’s even published?