When authors collaborate with AI.

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A startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create books has raised $37 million in the latest sign of how machine learning is changing the publishing industry.

Inkitt’s self-titled app allows users to self-publish stories. Using AI and data science, it identifies stories for optimization and distributes and sells them on Galatea, another app. A recent funding round for the company reflects the growing interest in using AI for publishing. But while technology brings opportunities for writers and readers, it also raises concerns.

The promise and threat of AI for writing

“For authors, the impact is profound but also two-way,” Zachary Weiner, CEO of Emerging Insider Communications, which focuses on the publishing industry, told PYMNTS in an interview. “The arsenal of tools at their disposal has expanded exponentially, allowing them to unleash creativity and imagination with AI-generated cues and ideas. They have no constraints of traditional thinking because they Can use AI to influence the story and weave together disparate concepts in a complex way. Additionally, AI proofreading to streamline their workflow and focus on their core work. and offers an easy revision capability.”

However, Weiner cautioned that AI is also bringing challenges to publishing. “AI is in some way encroaching on all writing and content jobs, including editors,” he said. “As organizations seek to reduce costs and maximize efficiency, the displacement of human writers by AI is already active and inevitable.”

The generative AI landscape is expanding rapidly, driven primarily by pioneering efforts from companies like OpenAI and its contemporaries.

Inkt’s AI formula

Inkitt was founded in 2013, the company said in an August 2023 press release. It provides a platform for authors to share their work, engage with readers and grow their audience. In 2016, the company achieved a milestone by selling “Bright Star” by Erin Swan to Tor Books, part of Macmillan Publishers. The company said it is the first book to predict best-sellers powered by AI, illustrating Inkitt’s approach to using data analytics in publishing decisions.

For publishers like Inkitt, adopting AI promises to streamline operations and reduce reliance on personnel, Weiner said. Tasks that once required editors, proofreaders and layout designers can now be completed with a fraction of the workforce, resulting in significant cost savings for publishers.

“And in the digital age and after numerous industry failures and problems with monetization models – this is incredibly compelling; however, outsourcing critical tasks to AI poses many challenges, including issues of accuracy and reliability. From concerns to protecting editorial integrity,” he said.

AI boosts self-publishing.

The influx of AI-generated books has overwhelmed self-publishing platforms. According to publishing industry research firm WordsRated, the platforms, which make up a large portion of book sales, account for about 34 percent of all ebooks self-published. The proliferation of content on these platforms coincides with the widespread availability of AI applications powered by large language models (LLMs).

The founder of Booksy, a site for authors that includes AI tools, said in an interview with PYMNTS that publishers must adapt to new technology.

“Incorporating AI into a business process, especially in publishing and writing, will become easier, and companies that don’t know how to use AI to make their products better, faster or more efficient,” he said. If they have to make it cheaper, they will suffer from competition.” “In addition, LLMs and generative AI will continue to advance and become more powerful.”

Nasisi said he was concerned that the AI ​​would use the work of the site’s authors to train its models without their knowledge and consent.

“This needs to change as the technology matures so that content creators can choose how their content is used and be fairly compensated,” he said.

Limitations of AI

Weiner said that while AI excels in some areas, such as content optimization and data analysis, its capabilities remain limited in others, particularly for critical tasks.

AI-powered content also raises some serious questions about authenticity and authenticity, he said. “As publishers rely more and more on AI-generated content to meet demand, there is a risk of undermining the unique voice and perspective that human authors bring to the table.”

Not everyone thinks AI is scary for writers or readers. John Masak, an English professor at the New York Institute of Technology, told PYMNTS in an interview that using AI to help with writing is like deploying a grammar checker or having an editor hand-me-down manuscript changes.

He said that if the quality of the book is high and the idea is unique, then I consider this work as an addition to literature. “Also, many ‘bad’ writers have created great works with the help of a hands-on editor. When used properly, AI can help make ‘good’ writing more equal.

Masak said the biggest threat from AI comes from scams that can be easily created, such as copying the work of other authors, creating fake news, and various other deceptive schemes that AI can rapidly develop. can do

According to Masak, where readers place the blame for something going wrong is a key factor in how AI affects publishing.

“Will readers think AI content comes from a few bad players, or will they think publishers are guilty of mass fabrication?” They said. “If they blame a few people, it can serve as a defense through reviews. If they blame publishers and suspect all texts are AI-generated, as many professors and students do. can happen with the work of, then the problem spreads throughout the industry.”

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