AI: How might it affect publishing?

AI: How might it affect publishing?

2023 has seen some monumental changes when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, most notably with the rise of ChatGPT—an artificial intelligence chat bot developed by OpenAI that specialises in generating human-like responses to textual stimuli. ChatGPT is free to use and can be used for creating text including poems, stories, and even code. 

The site had 1 million users within 5 days of launch and set the record for the fastest-growing platform by gaining 100 million users by January 2023. With its ability to generate coherent and well-written texts in a wide range of styles, topics and languages, it can be used to create attractive posts, blogs, articles, product descriptions and messages for social networks, internal communications and broader community interaction.

Whilst many of us are perplexed by the sheer scope of what AI can do in our working lives, there is equally a real genuine fear about the future of AI and whether humans will become totally redundant. Widespread concerns about the future implications of artificial intelligence advancements have been raised by high profile tech leaders worldwide warning of threats to cyber security, significant job losses and a chronic lack of suitable regulatory frameworks. 

Should we be concerned or embracing this new technology in the publishing industry?

ChatGPT - author, writer and content creator

ChatGPT is now even an author in its own right. There are around 300 ebooks in Amazon’s Kindle store listing ChatGPT as an author or co-author, including The Power of Homework” and the poetry collection “Echoes of the Universe”. And the number is rising daily. There is even a new sub-genre on Amazon: Books about using ChatGPT, written entirely by ChatGPT.

Ethan Mollick, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, examined AI’s potential value to an author, publisher or reader, including “AI as reader and editor,”. He asked an AI generator (not ChatGPT) to summarise a book, and said it succeeded to his satisfaction. He then asked the system to give him examples of metaphors in a book, which can be challenging enough for human readers as it involves finding figurative language without any clear markers. He found the results impressive, with a few small errors. 

The generator is less successful as an editor, argues Mollick, stating: ‘if you are a very good writer or editor, you are better than current AI…”. Nonetheless he concludes that, “AIs have, or at least have the appearance of having, an understanding of the context and meaning of a piece of text” and therefore, Mollick believes that “how we relate to books is likely to change as a result of AI.”

Simple uses of ChatGPT in publishing houses

There are some very simple useful uses for AI, whether ChatGPT or another AI algorithm. For example: generating keywords, subject categories - BISAC and Thema codes - book summaries, proofreading, translations, and even the basis for interesting thought leadership articles and presentations. Supadu will be exploring how to use AI for these purposes over the coming month.

We asked ChatGPT for its opinion on the matter

We wanted to see for ourselves how effective AI is at writing accurate information. We asked ChatGPT: “How might AI affect the publishing industry?”


“Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to significantly impact the publishing industry in various ways. Here are several ways AI might affect the publishing industry:

While AI presents numerous opportunities for the publishing industry, it is important to strike a balance between automation and human creativity. The collaboration between AI and human professionals can lead to more efficient workflows, improved content quality, and enhanced reader experiences."

How do you feel about this response? Does it fill you with fear or relief? Do you think there’s a way to incorporate AI into your publishing workflow? We'd love to know your thoughts!

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