Wattpad announces new publishing division driven by machine learning tech

Wattpad has announced the launch of a publishing division dedicated to authors who upload their writing to the storytelling app, The New York Times reports. It is not the first time the company has delved into the world of publishing, as they’ve previously collaborated with other media companies to turn stories from the platform into books and movies. This time around, however, Wattpad is not just taking the matter into their own hands—the firm wants to replace editors with machine learning technology.


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The so-called Story DNA Machine Learning tech will rifle through Wattpad’s database to discover commercially attractive themes and story elements. “We’re able to take the opinions of 70 million users and what are they reading and what’s resonating with them as a starting point,” said Ashleigh Gardner, head of the newly established publishing division.

According to Wattpad, the technology could help fight the lack of representation in publishing by removing personal bias from the initial selection process. “It is a bit of a monoculture,” said Gardner. “Editors who have similar backgrounds in some of the biggest cities in the world decide what the entire book buying public should be reading.”