London Book Fair and the Changing Face of Technology!

This week, Inspired Selection attended London Book Fair – our entire team were there soaking up everything our wonderful industry had to offer and we had a fantastic time!

For us, one of the key messages from the fair was the constant mention of technology and the changing face of technology in the publishing industry. Below we have picked out three seminars we attended that made some notable observations on technology within publishing.

Early Applications of Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence & Robotic Process Automation in the Publishing Workflow. Presented by Suresh Kumar, Solutions Architects at Integra Software Service.

Integra Software Service partner with publishers to provide content, digital and workflow solutions. One issue the publishing industry faces is content discoverability and being able to capture the attention of the audience. Artificial intelligence can step in here and combined with Natural Language Processing, it can understand the readers’ choice through contextual analysis, and provide recommendations.

Additionally, technology can speed up the process for Copy Editors by highlighting any issues that need to be addressed, rather than the Editor searching through the manuscript themselves. These functions can offer solutions from simple spelling and grammar correction to more complex solutions where technology is able to gain context and to make suggestions for wording. However, it was stressed that these processes are only meant to augment efforts, not to replace human decision-making – which can often be a criticism of artificial processes.

Taking the fear out of AI- Machine versus Human or Technology Enabler for Humanity? Tahir Mansoori, Founder, wisdom.ai.

Is AI taking over the world? Absolutely not! One of the most talked about criticisms of AI is its lack of ability to make the moral decision that humans are able to do. However, the biggest tech companies are coming together to work out what can be implemented allowing for morality. Tahir gives the example of using AI used to create an artificial heart, to be able to do virtual tests on it with different drugs, avoiding the suffering of testing on animals for example. It is examples like this that provide for AI helping in aspects of life. Some goals of the future include:

  • Cure to all diseases
  • Greener/cleaner environment
  • Better quality of life
  • Social equality

In publishing, the technology can be used to put together a dashboard with information such as top authors, and what competitors are doing. In addition to the dashboard, it can be used to analyse any global policy issue. The common issue with data is from people objecting to their data being collected privately and used. A new technology coming forward; Blockchain, is all about decentralising data – this will allow data to be publically available, and AI can then use it freely. AI is not meant as a threat, but as a support - predicted to grow and change everyday life for the better.

Looking beyond Journal Publishing: An Integrated Approach to Professional and Scholarly Content Management - Stefan Kendzierskyj, EVP & Head , EMEA Region, Impelsys Inc.

Technology is without a doubt changing the face of publishing by allowing traditional content to evolve and develop. Impelsys have developed a platform which can address previous issues, e.g. online/offline reading, and being able to return to the same place. The content becomes more like software, with navigation tools including chapters, image/video viewing, quizzes etc. A simple journal article can turn into a smart and enhanced eBook. This model works well in particular for online courses, allowing for a natural learning progression, at convenience of the student – especially useful in compulsory professional qualifications. 

In summary, it is an exciting time for the publishing industry with technology being introduced to push content to go further than ever before! Parts of AI and its impact are still unknown but if it can help us be more streamlined and successful then surely we need to embrace it.