Are AI chatbot companions for books the next big thing in publishing?

Some book publishers team up with AI startups to develop chatbot companions for newly released book titles.

AI chatbots are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and can now hold conversations about even the most complex topics.

It’s no surprise that every industry, including publishing, investigates how to benefit from AI, while keeping an eye on possible threats, naming only the case of training large language models (LLMs) on pirated books.

Imagine that you host a private book club meeting, where you can discuss the book you are currently reading – any time, anywhere. And the other book club member is a chatbot trained to talk about nothing else than this particular book.

It may happen sooner than you think.

YouAI is a startup that offers tools for building custom AI-powered apps. They have just added a new app to their growing collection of ready to use tools.

Called Book AI, this template “will let you turn any book into an AI”. All you need to do is upload your book’s content as a data source.

Will Knight, a senior writer for WIRED, uploaded Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Book AI app to test it.

💬 The Franken-bot did a decent job summarizing the book and its themes.

The chatbot also noticed some interesting similarities between the classic story of scientific hubris and the current concerns about artificial intelligence.

Once the chatbot content is ready (and every publisher or author can already do it, using tools like Book AI), the remaining task would be to include the chat seamlessly into the book.

Some companies, naming only Solution Tree, already plan to offer AI conversational companions to go with their new titles.

It would require the redesign of book reading apps to include the option to start the chatbot in one or two taps. And, ideally, this chatbot should be able to speak and recognize the voice.

Actually, the Kindle ecosystem offers two features that make it easy to imagine the chat companion coming to the Kindle even in the upcoming months.

One is Whispersync for Voice. It lets you seamlessly switch between reading your Kindle ebook and listening to its audiobook companion. Text and sound go hand in hand, and this has been doable since 2012. Already, over 60,000 Kindle books come with audiobook companions.

The other feature that makes ebooks one step closer to book chat companions is Kindle X-Ray. It provides readers with further details about the characters, places, and themes in the book they are reading.

And the best part is that Amazon doesn’t need to produce chatbot companions themselves. All they can do is provide a reliable tool for KDP self publishers, just like they do it with X-Ray

Having in mind how easy the process is with YouAI’s chatbot generator, it shouldn’t be the hard task to accomplish.

If you were given an opportunity to buy an ebook with a chatbot companion for an extra $3, would you test it?

Source: Why Read Books When You Can Use Chatbots to Talk to Them Instead? – Wired / Cover image: Midjourney

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One response to “Are AI chatbot companions for books the next big thing in publishing?”

  1. […] And the existing AI technology lets you create chatbot companions for newly released books. […]

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