Springer Nature publishes its first machine-generated book

Springer Nature publishes its first machine-generated book

Springer Nature has published its first machine-generated title, a chemistry book offering an overview of the latest research in the rapidly growing field of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research has been developed in a collaboration between Springer Nature and researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt/Main and is available as a free e-book on content platform SpringerLink.

"Serving as a structured excerpt from a huge set of papers, the innovative pipeline architecture aims at helping researchers to manage the information overload in this discipline efficiently”, the publisher said.
 
The creation of the book involved the development of a state-of-the-art algorithm, called Beta Writer, to choose and process relevant publications in this field from  SpringerLink. Based on this peer-reviewed and published content, the Beta Writer arranges the source documents into coherent chapters and sections and creates succinct summaries of the articles. The extracted quotes are referenced by hyperlinks which allow readers to further explore the original source documents.

Niels Peter Thomas, managing director for Books at Springer Nature, said: “Looking back to a long tradition and expertise in academic book publishing, Springer Nature is aiming at shaping the future of book publishing and reading. New technologies around Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence offer promising opportunities for us to explore the generation of scientific content with the help of algorithms. As a global publisher, it is our responsibility to take potential implications and limitations of machine-generated content into consideration, and to provide a reasonable framework for this new type of content for the future.”
 
Henning Schoenenberger, director of Product Data & Metadata Management for the publisher, added: “We are thrilled to finally publish this new type of research content and make it available for the global research community. While research articles and books written by researchers and authors will continue to play a crucial role in scientific publishing, we foresee many different content types in academic publishing in the future: from yet entirely human-created content creation to a variety of blended man-machine text generation to entirely machine-generated text. This prototype is a first important milestone we reached, and it will hopefully also initiate a public debate on the opportunities, implications, challenges and potential risks of machine-generated content in scholarly publishing.”
 
Springer Nature plans to expand on this pilot project by developing prototypes for content from other subject areas as well.