Completely without human labour: writing books and acting?

Printed science fiction novels that no one wrote? A bookstore where not a single person works? Celebrating books about which no human forehead has ever been occupied with content, design or price calculation?


A bookshop from a distant galaxy – reality with us!

The Danish artist Andreas Refsgaard and the data scientist Mikkel Loose founded the project – is a digital bookshop that works exclusively with algorithms. Everything in the bookshop is initiated by artificial intelligence: The books are written by an AI, the stylish covers are designed by an AI and even the reviews of the books are written by fictional – artificial – characters. Even the price calculation of the bookshop is done by a neural network.

Artificial intelligence as creative as its role model – man?

No, because artificial intelligence is always trained with existing data. That means here concretely with already existing science fiction novels. To create a work from nothing – that can only be done by humans.

But an AI can read mountains of existing books in no time at all and create a new one from them. If one were to give the AI the mission to unite Aristotle with Joanne K. Rowling – it could do it! And we would probably read about a Harry Potter who is working at Hogwarts on subjects like the structure of being.

Schreiben wir Rowling?

An AI can write a new book based on many existing books. Writers who feel useless at this point can be reassured: Creating a work from nothing has so far been reserved for human beings. This applies to painting, writing and all kinds of creative new creation.

Business as usual: Life writes the best stories!

The history of the bookstore’s origins reads itself like a science fiction novel. Mikkel and Andreas played around, had fun – and thus created the first artificial bookstore in the world! Together they created their writing and trading bookstore. Today the Booksby books are available as paperbacks at Amazon.

The initially idea of both was, to create a project where an AI would generate everything and people could buy its creations afterwards. It should have an physical output in the end.

They thought about different options and came to the vision to create a bookstore.

They agreed that there has to be something to touch in the end, and they thought about a few different options. They ended up with the bookstore as the perfect setting, because all the different parts that go into a book could be generated using machine learning models for text generation. With success!

In the bookstore author names, book titles, book descriptions, reviews, reviewers, book covers and the content are created by an artificial intelligence.

What was at first like a game of the two founders – a trial and error –  ended up in the world’s first online bookstore run by an AI in which printed science fiction novels are distributed.

From authorship to the sale of the novels: Not a single person works in this book trade.

For this purpose, artificial intelligence was first provided with a large amount of training datas. Science fiction books! So it learned to write new books itself using this data. In doing so, the AI imitated the language, style and visual appearance of the books presented. Today, we can find all the books from, which were created with the help of char-rnn-tensorflow as well as training data from Amazon and Project Gutenberg. The design of the covers for the books was made possible by Github data and training images from the OpenLibrary. And now – You can buy the print editions at Amazon!

Fascinating, isn’t it? But – what will be the task of the bookseller of the future?

So, with human creativity and artificial intelligence a bookstore was created that can run itself completely by itself. The founders of the bookstore will never have personnel worries: Their employees are completely undemanding. While the runs more ore less by itself , the founders could sip a cocktail on the beach – and if that gets boring – write a whole new book.

A magical book by human hand. A book as the world does not know it yet!


Susanne Gold

Founder of the future and science blog “Utopiensammlerin”.

As a keynote speaker, the science journalist is committed to a new understanding of the human work force and successful human-machine cooperation.

Get in touch? Either by mail or simply follow her on LinkedIn.

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