AI Takes Center Stage at New Publishing Conference

AI Takes Center Stage at New Publishing Conference

NEW YORK—August 8, 2023—A sweeping examination of AI’s role in book publishingis the focus of Artificial Intelligence: Revolution and Opportunity in Trade Publishing, a newconference from Publishers Weekly. Former Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle will give the opening keynote. The event, which will be livestreamed only, is targeted t0 publishing executives, authors and other stakeholders in book publishing.

Opening keynote speaker Markus Dohleis the former CEO of Penguin Random House, theworld’s largest trade book publisher. All eyes were on him during the high-profile antitrust trial in New York that ultimately blocked the merger of Penguin Random House and rival Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster. In December 2022, after nearly 15 years at the helm of PRH, Dohle stepped down. Despite the verdict, his legacy at PRH remains solid, and he is a widely admired advocate for book publishing.

Hosted by publishing analyst and Publishers Weekly contributing editor Thad McIlroy and technology impresario Peter Brantley, the event features the industry’s top thinkers on emerging technologies and addresses the foray of artificial intelligence into various business operations of publishing, including editorial, marketing, legal and production.

“AI is going to transform publishing more profoundly than anything we’ve seen since e-books,”said McIlroy, who is also the creator of a database of book publishing startups,from his office in San Francisco.“Until very recently, AI has been relegated to the tech sector.We are now seeing how valuable AI will be for publishers.”

“AI is the hottest issue in book publishing,” said Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly. “This conference will lay out the plusses and minuses of fair implementation of AI into various segments of the publishing industry. There’s a lot of concern and uncertainty among publishing professionals and authors about what changes AI will bring. We will focus on what’s real, what’s not, and what’s doable.”

Panelists confirmed to speak include:

  • Barbara Kline Pope, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Press, on the publishing business;
  • Cliff Guren,digital media strategist currentlyworking on an AI-focused research project for Forbes Books and author of Metaphor, a blog, on editorial;
  • Catherine Weldon, artificial intelligence and machine learning associate, Penguin Random House, on editorial;
  • Keith Riegert, publisher of Ulysses Press, on marketing;
  • Ken Brooks, president, Treadwell Media Group, on production;
  • Bill Kasdorf, principal, Kasdorf & Associates, and expert on accessibility, XML/HTML/EPUB modeling and workflow, on production;
  • Entertainment and arts lawyer Scott Sholder, partner at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard and co-chair of the firm’s litigation group, on legal.

In addition, a digital-savvy slate of well-known authors will take on AI issues of particular concern to writers, creators and authors.Among them is writer and critic Sean Michaels, author of the forthcoming novel Do You Remember Being Born?(Astra House, Sept.).

Each panel willbe followed by an audience Q&A.The conference takes place on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 from 1:00–5:30 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m.–2:30p.m. PT.

The event will be live streamed from New York and San Francisco. Registration is $49, with group rates available.

For sponsorship information,contact Cevin Bryerman, publisher and CEO, Publishers Weekly,

Registration information and tickets are available at

    This entry was posted in Books, Conventions, Events & Expos. Bookmark the permalink.