Content Creation Technology…

In other words, computers that write books. Yikes!

“Patented Book Writing System Creates, Sells Hundreds Of Thousands Of Books On Amazon”

From SingularityHub.com :

“Philip M. Parker, Professor of Marketing at INSEAD Business School, has had a side project for over 10 years. He’s created a computer system that can write books about specific subjects in about 20 minutes. The patented algorithm has so far generated hundreds of thousands of books. In fact, Amazon lists over 100,000 books attributed to Parker, and over 700,000 works listed for his company, ICON Group International, Inc. This doesn’t include the private works, such as internal reports, created for companies or licensing of the system itself through a separate entity called EdgeMaven Media.

Parker is not so much an author as a compiler, but the end result is the same: boatloads of written works.

Now these books aren’t your typical reading material. Common categories include specialized technical and business reports, language dictionaries bearing the “Webster’s” moniker (which is in the public domain), rare disease overviews, and even crossword puzzle books for learning foreign languages, but they all have the same thing in common: they are automatically generated by software.

The system automates this process by building databases of information to source from, providing an interface to customize a query about a topic, and creating templates for information to be packaged. Because digital ebooks and print-on-demand services have become commonplace, topics can be listed in Amazon without even being “written” yet.

To be clear, this isn’t just software alone but a computer system designated to write for a specific genre. The system’s database is filled with genre-relevant content and specific templates coded to reflect domain knowledge, that is, to be written according to an expert in that particular field/genre. To avoid copyright infringement, the system is designed to avoid plagiarism, but the patent aims to create original but not necessarily creative works. In other words, if any kind of content can be broken down into a formula, then the system could package related, but different content in that same formula repeatedly ad infinitum.

And Parker is not alone in automating content either. The Chicago-based Narrative Science has been producing sport news and financial articles for Forbes for a while.

So, what’s the next book genre Parker is targeting to have software produce? Romance novels.

Although a novel is a work of fiction, it’s no secret that certain genres lend themselves to formulas, such as romance novels. That may not make these works rank high for their literary value, but they certainly do well for their entertainment value. Somewhat suprisingly, romance fiction has the largest share of the consumer book market with revenue of nearly $1.37 billion in 2011.

But can artificial intelligence produce creative works on par with what a human can produce? Yes…eventually. Perhaps the better questions are how soon will it happen and how relevant will they be? The answers may be right on the horizon if Parker can churn out romance novels that are read by the masses. Frankly, any creative work produced by artificial intelligence will be “successful” if it reads like a human being wrote it, or more precisely, like a human intelligence is behind the work.

But books may be just the beginning…”


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