Insight, or the assistant artificial intelligence for publishers

Youthful American company co-founded by Thomas Cox and Thomas Minkus, both experienced in publishing and technology, Veristage invests in the very promising sector of AI-based tools. Given their backgrounds, it is quite logical that Insight, their first solution, is oriented towards publishing.

Just launched, the Insight platform is presented as a configurable assistant for publishing projects. Capable of analyzing the texts submitted to it, it can then provide various measures, as well as marketing elements, such as summaries, metadata, and even suggestions for a book club…

“Insight opens the way to secure collaboration between publishers and artificial intelligence,” emphasizes Thomas Cox in a statement. According to him, the platform “enables publishers to optimize their workflow at all levels of the publishing chain.”

Several major models

Concretely, the user uploads their text to Insight, which, within a few minutes, “reads” and analyzes the document. The results are then presented through a tab system, including reading summaries, keywords, image descriptions and quotes, and promotional and marketing elements.

“Insight is built on an existing content management platform for publishers,” explains Thomas Minkus. “We have integrated artificial intelligence into this system, using many major language models, including ChatGPT and DALL-E from OpenAI, Claude from Anthropic, Gemini from Google, and Mistral.”

Veristage has not developed its own artificial intelligence, but rather the connector that allows them to be integrated into Insight and to work on editorial tasks. “Insight has been designed to be neutral with respect to the major language models. We have integrated those that are most common today and may add others in the future. We can activate and deactivate such and such a model if our clients prefer to work with certain providers,” explains the co-founder.

Secure environment

Insight is of course capable of processing different types of documents, from fiction to non-fiction, including school manuals or simple chapters. The tool could integrate into different publishing chains and ensures data security through an encryption system. A variety of computer formats are compatible, such as PDF, Word, XML (Onix, JATS), EPUB, and Excel.

The business model is based on a subscription offered to publishing houses, with different rates according to the size of the structures, specify Thomas Cox and Thomas Minkus.

For the marketing aspect of the assistant, it is able to create “publications on social networks, presentations, descriptions destined for Amazon, keywords, and additional content such as questions for book clubs, chapter summaries, and multiple choice questions (for school manuals),” details Thomas Minkus. Insight can also identify the target audience for a particular work, as well as selling points.

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In addition to Insight’s suggestions, a conversational agent is integrated to open the discussion and, by asking additional questions, obtain new elements, such as “promotion plans, cover letters, emails, blog article suggestions, or more specific keywords.”

Finally, the tool can ensure audio conversion of a short text, using OpenAI’s text-to-speech solution.

Assisting and speeding up

At a time when self-publishing platforms like Amazon are inundated with books produced automatically by AI tools, including ChatGPT, could Insight create an autonomous publishing bubble? Capable of generating and selling texts endlessly?

No, assures Thomas Minkus, because “we have built Insight to accompany publishers in their work processes and to provide them with the best contributions of AI in their work. Insight accelerates the identification of book categories and the creation of keywords. It helps create posts for social networks, presentations, selling points, but it will not be able to write or publish a book in your place.”

Familiar with artificial intelligence, Thomas Minkus is even convinced: no current tool “will be able to write the next Prix Goncourt. AI is excellent for many tasks, but I have not seen it surpass human creativity so far.

TO READ – When ChatGPT helps win the Prix Goncourt in Japan

After two decades in the book world, the co-founders primarily want to “provide publishers with the power of AI.”

One decidedly very uncertain point, in several countries around the world, is the status of the content generated by Insight with respect to copyright. “Laws in this area have not unanimously decided whether content generated by AI can be covered by copyright or not,” recalls Thomas Minkus. That said, the manuscripts submitted to Insight are of course protected by copyright.

Photography: illustration, Matt Wiebe, CC BY 2.0

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