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Panellists discuss impact of AI in publishing at 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Panellists discuss impact of AI in publishing at 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
29 Apr 2024 23:51


A panel discussion titled "Artificial Intelligence in International Publishing" was held at the Thebes Stage during the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

The panellists, Fareed Zahran, President of the Egyptian Publishers Association, and Jose Borghino, Secretary-General of the International Publishers Association (IPA), discussed the role of artificial intelligence in the writing, printing and publishing processes. The discussion, which was moderated by Ahmed Rashad, highlighted the advantages, challenges and the overall impact of AI on publishing.

Borghino said that humans have been obsessed with other forms of intelligence for years. In fact, the term artificial intelligence was first introduced in 1956. He also mentioned the famous 11th-century Arab scholar Ismail al-Jazari, as well as the fictitious character Frankenstein, created by English writer Mary Shelley, which featured in her novels. He added that these examples represent early attempts at AI.

Explaining that algorithms are now able to predict sentences and that there are many texts translated from the Arabic language using artificial intelligence, he said that more Arabic works were being integrated into these algorithms, which made it easy to translate Arabic into other languages.

He also stressed that innovation, creativity and literature in all its forms are results of human effort and emphasised the fact that writing was a reflection of the author’s own experiences.

Zahran explained that there has been growing interest in artificial intelligence since the invention of the computer. Almost 50 years ago, writers used to put a great deal of time and effort to produce books, but the advancement of computers has reduced the time and effort that goes into printing and publishing. AI has also made it easy to research and access information.

The panel discussed how AI is full of data from around the world. This was the case even during its development stages. Authors use AI data in various stages of writing, formatting and editing. AI even helps design book covers and format text. It has brought about a turnaround in the publishing industry in the last several years. AI is an enabling tool to help authors, but the final control of the text lies with the author.

He further added, "The computer has proven to be completely incapable of taking on the role of an author, but it has a tremendous ability to collect and store data. AI may replace academic books, as it can provide as much as 90% of the information, but it does not exceed 70% of data in the world of novels.

Source: WAM
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