The book fair puts on the vr glasses

The bookseller puts on a pair of clumsy glasses, puts on a headset and straps little boxes to her fist. The first step is wobbly, then run it off.

In the virtual reality of "vonderland" she is a rabbit. The exhibition hall 4.1. Has disappeared – we are on a tropical island in the sunset. This year, the frankfurt book fair is embarking on a journey into the future of ernacy.

VR, AR, AI – abbreviations abound: virtual reality, augumented reality, artificial intelligence are just a few of them. 800 square meters have been cleared by the trade fair for the new area. Holger volland, vice president of the frankfurt book fair and author of the book "the creative power of machines," says: "there are more and more technologies that are able to tell stories. We want to make these technologies tangible."

Gerhard lauer is a professor of modern german literature and digital humanities in basel. He thinks it's right for the book fair to be about technology. "The point of a trade show is to gain orientation. Publishers and booksellers want to know: where is the journey going??"In the dispute over copyrights, print publishers and online providers had been in constant conflict – today, fortunately, both sides are "no longer in the trenches". On the contrary, there is "a new interplay between the digital and analog worlds.

To make the future tangible, the book fair has brought in expert knowledge. The fair's "the arts+" area, which had been limping along since 2016, was merged with the "biennale of the moving image," B3. Together, the cooperation partners have brought 25 VR works to the trade show. There is a 360-degree video, a giant screen running around the corner with 3D films, an animated historical map of ancient china, and much more.

The munch museum in oslo lets art intelligence curate an exhibition: an algorithm calculates the "emotional color tone" from pictures and texts by the norwegian painter and selects the matching music from a database. The BUX app offers video and audio tours through zurich in the footsteps of gottfried keller or james joyce, during which supplementary explanations (AR elements) can be selected.

What will the book industry look like in ten years?? Our "hunger for stories" will be the same, says prof. Lauer, but not the way we share them. "There will be more options, more media, more formats. If we embed the book in our digital environment, then it has a chance."In an interview with the german press agency, he develops a few scenarios:

– computers write texts: "AI will not replace the author, but it will support publishers," says lauer. "In the science sector, this is becoming enormously important, it's exploding right now." computers make books on specific topics from scientific articles. A book about battery technology that was written in this way was very successful. It opens up a "huge market" for science publishers.

– this also applies to literature? This is possible with poetry: a viennese agency fed an algorithm with poems and turned them into a text that was published in an anthology. Writing programs are also being used for more stereotypical series, without publishers hanging on to the rough end of the stick. But it will be a long time before machines write good novels.

– computers evaluate texts: a hamburg-based start-up called qualifiction has developed the "lisa" software on an AI basis. She analyzes texts and wants to use them to predict book successes. The database will be maintained with bestsellers and less successful books. Within seconds, the algorithm can evaluate the potential for success, say the founders. Nine publishing companies and 400 authors have already used the.

– online communities: social platforms are becoming increasingly important. 80 million readers and authors exchange texts via the wattpad platform, for example. There are authors who are completely out of this world. One example is marah woolf, author of numerous "new romance" titles. According to her own figures, she has sold – without publishing – one million e-books, hor books and paperbacks.

– data analytics: data-mining would make it possible to find the ideal book for every reader. All you had to do was combine the facebook account, the profile on the dating platform and the amazon orders, says lauer. E-readers could report back to the publisher how quickly, how far and how often texts were read. All this data is available. What is missing is an open debate on the subject.