Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Writing Textbooks at The Push of A Button


The first novel written by a computer has already been published four years ago. The future of content is increasingly becoming the stuff of science fiction. Not so sure? You must read this post from Singularityhub.com: PATENTED BOOK WRITING SYSTEM CREATES, SELLS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BOOKS ON AMAZON.

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.

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.

writing textbooks

But books may be just the beginning?!

As Parker notes in his video, the software doesn’t have to be limited to written works. Using 3D animation and avatars, a variety of audio and video formats can be generated, and Parker indicates that these are being explored… Content creation technology could converge with other developments such as automated video transcription to expand the content that can be pulled from. Language translators would aid not only in content previously produced all over the world, but audio and video in real-time as well. Additionally, with life blogging allowing people to capture everything they say or is said to them, those could be packaged into personal biographies. If you add big data and analytics into the mix, you could have some serious content creation capabilities, all performed by designated computers.

Read the full article to know more about it, and Parker explains the process in a nearly 10-minute video. Take a look at a sampling of the list of books attributed to Parker, it seems it’s much easier for the software to generate non-fiction books than to generate fiction books. Aggregating and organizing facts into a book with scope and depth customized according to personal needs might be just something can be handled pretty well by software programs in near future, writing textbooks at the push of a button won’t be so like in science fictions. Now who says content is king?

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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