AI: Reshaping the Way We Read Books


YouAI is developing an app called Book AI that uses retrieval augmented generation to create chatbots that can discuss any book’s content endlessly. The CEO, Dmitry Shapiro, is in talks with publishers about creating chatbots to accompany new releases, especially for textbooks. The AI chatbot can put what is described in a book into action and is trained on a wide range of content.

Artificial intelligence is pervasive in every aspect of our lives, and the world of literature is no exception. Amazon’s virtual shelves already showcase books written by AI, and now it seems that even human-authored titles could benefit from some AI intervention.

“AI is changing how we write books and read and interact with them.”

YouAI’s Innovative Approach

A startup, YouAI, has initiated the development of a Book AI application, which promises to “turn any book into an AI.” It uses retrieval augmented generation (RAG) to create chatbots that converse about a book’s contents. According to Dmitry Shapiro, YouAI’s CEO, the chatbot is like a knowledgeable companion that can discuss the book endlessly. Shapiro is currently in talks with publishers, discussing the possibility of creating chatbots to accompany new releases.

Shapiro believes these “conversational companions” could be especially beneficial for textbooks, where users often have specific questions or need clarifications. The AI chatbot, trained on a wide range of content, can even put what is described in a book into action. For instance, asking the chatbot for a book on website optimization could result in an interactive guide that helps the reader implement the key points practically.

Testing the Book AI

Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein was uploaded to the YouAI app to test the Book AI’s functionality. The AI chatbot provided a decent book summary and drew parallels between the tale of scientific hubris and today’s concerns about AI.

“Frankenstein is warned against playing God and creating life, which leads to disastrous consequences. Similarly, some argue humans should not try to ‘play God’ by creating sentient AI.”

The chatbot noted.

The chatbot further demonstrated its capability by analyzing the concerns and risks posed by AI, drawing analogies from the book’s narrative. However, when asked if it identifies with the monster, it responded,

“As an artificial intelligence, I don’t have personal feelings or identities, so I can’t identify with any characters.”

The Future of Reading with AI

With AI’s rapid advancements, it’s easy to imagine publishers using chatbots as a unique selling point for new books, mainly textbooks, self-help titles, and business books that promise to teach readers about profiting from AI. The chatbot’s potential to interactively answer specific questions and clarify concepts could significantly enhance the reading experience.

Additionally, chatbots could serve as a new user interface for other knowledge sources. Startups already use similar techniques to convert webpages or entire websites into chatbots. These AI-powered tools could potentially analyze and summarize a plethora of content, making information more accessible and interactive for the user.

However, despite these advancements, it’s important to remember that AI still has limitations. While they can summarize and discuss a book’s content, there’s still no substitute for reading a book cover to cover. As AI continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly continue to reshape our interaction with literature in novel and exciting ways.

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