Thought this piece by Rob Eagar, a marketing consultant, about the future of AI publishing trends had a couple interesting bits worth highlighting. Particularly:
5. Publishers will experiment with “A.I.-only” imprints
Publishing houses are notorious for running on thin profit margins with insufficient staff who are underpaid. The more books that publishers can churn out with less human expense, the more profit they can make. Thus, don’t be surprised if some publishers experiment with creating “A.I.-only” imprints where books are “written” by machines using a just few people to oversee the process. If readers don’t care or don’t notice the difference in quality between A.I. books versus human-authored books, then profiteering publishers will pursue the less costly option.
This is exactly what my AI lore books are (and why they got so much press), though I think the distinction of something being “AI-only” is probably incorrect. There’s very little long or even medium format content that is produced solely by AI, and is completely perfect and coherent on its own. Though over the near term, that is likely to shift dramatically. But it’s better I think to establish a gradient or spectrum of assistance or contributions by both AI and humans in a given work. I’m not sure how much the labeling of it all is even going to matter to readers…
Which brings me to:
8. Readers won’t care if a human or a machine writes the book
Over the last few years, technology has caused the clothing industry to become dominated by a trend called “fast fashion.” Cheap clothes are made quickly and sold at cheap prices without a focus on long-lasting quality. If our culture has become content to buy cheap, fast clothing, don’t be surprised if readers tolerate the idea of buying cheap books written fast by machines. As long as the reading experience is pleasurable, who makes the book won’t matter. Thus, I predict that low cost, convenience, and speed will hasten a mass embrace of A.I. in publishing.
Yes, yes, and yes. Let’s go back one step to point number 7, though, as this is a perennial topic for me:
7. The author role will change from “writer” to “creator”
If A.I. algorithms can replace most of the writing and editing functions that are done by a human, that means the role of an author will evolve in the future. Machines will likely serve as really fast ghostwriters. Whereas, authors will serve as the creator of ideas and stories, rather than the executor of the manuscript.
I’ve said it before and I’m certain I’ll say it a million more times before this storm abates:
Working with AI is less like being a conventional writer or artist, and more like being a creative direction, or a music producer, an arranger, curator, or even a film director. You assemble many bits and pieces from many different sources and many different tools and collaborators into a finished whole, and present that to the world.
Anyway, otherwise, some solid predictions in Eagar’s piece and worth checking out in its entirety, imo.