The End of the Human Publisher? Introducing the First Novel to Be Chosen by an Algorithm

Last December we predicted many things about publishing in 2016 — paint-by-numbers “adult relaxation” books, novels written by computers. Still, we never expected the basically human enterprise of selecting a book for publication to be replaced by an algorithm. It has happened, nonetheless: yesterday, the Berlin-based company Inkitt announced a partnership with Tor Books that will bring about the first ever book chosen by predictive data. The novel chosen by Inkitt’s “artificially intelligent” algorithm is Erin Swan’s Bright Star, a young adult fiction submitted to the publisher through a writing contest called “Hidden Gems.” Part of a multi-book “Sky Rider” series, it tells the story of the “fantasyland” Paerolia, “where war and conflict has created strong divides,” and where a a rebel leader named Kael helps a slave named Andra “discover the strength that…


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