Amazon, watch your back. There’s a new player in the book business and, unlike Jeff Bezos, it doesn’t need eight hours of sleep a night.

What’s new: The online bookstore is run entirely by AI. Neural networks write the books, create the cover art, price the merchandise, even write the reviews.

How it works: is an art project created by interaction designer Andreas Refsgaard and data scientist Mikkel Loose. It’s not really meant to generate sales or turn a profit. Rather, it’s a wry commentary on the notion that AI threatens to take human jobs.

  • To generate text, author names, book titles, and reader reviews, Refsgaard and Loose used a multiplayer recurrent neural network trained on data from Amazon and Project Gutenberg.
  • A generative adversarial network designed the book covers based on training data from Open Library.
  • A different GAN generated portraits of reviewers from a training set of Amazon reviewer photos.
  • A model designed to aid in transfer learning came up with prices based on data from Amazon.

Soft demand: The store has sold only 19 books so far (taking advantage of Amazon’s shopping cart). “Being a writer is a tough job, even if you are an artificial intelligence,” Refsgaard said in an interview with New Atlas.

But is it art?: The store’s wares definitely cater to avant-garde tastes. The description of the tome provocatively titled Bitches of the Points reads:
Mary Martin has decided to have a life she sees the world when her world comes out to make Sam must confront the strange past of the FBI agent Sam has no surprise for someone all the problems of the killer. And now that the story could destroy the dead children and joins forces to stay on his family.
Gertrude Stein, the literary master of scrambled syntax, would approve.


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