Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #228

Kathy Sandler
9 min readJan 17, 2023

Important Items

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When Will Women Finally Be Equally Represented in American Politics?

MT @womensmediacntr The record-breaking 141 congressional seats held by women still only compose 27% of Congress, and this country has yet to elect a woman president or have a woman Supreme Court chief justice.


VALL-E: Microsoft’s new zero-shot text-to-speech model can duplicate everyone’s voice in three seconds

Since the release of the first text-to-speech (TTS) model, researchers have been looking for ways to improve the way these systems generate speech. The latest model from Microsoft, VALL-E, is a significant step forward in this regard. VALL-E is a transformer-based TTS model that can generate speech in any voice after only hearing a three-second sample of that voice. This is a significant improvement over previous models, which required a much longer training period in order to generate a new voice.

A collection of 2023 Trend Reports

How a researcher uses generative AI to help him think better and get more done

Linus Lee researches generative AI, and uses what he discovers to build AI tools that will help him think better and get more done. He uses publicly available AI tools as well as a suite of custom-built models that help him read faster, search through information more quickly, and take better notes. Demos of some of this research projects on Twitter: This one allows a user to make an example sentence longer or shorter by dragging it in different directions. Another one lets him easily explore style variations for Stable Diffusion prompts with just a click or two. A final one lets him visually explore changing a sentence across multiple dimensions — like increasing its positivity or its politeness. #AI


AI and the Big Five Tech Companies

An analysis of the impact of AI from Apple, Amazon, Meta, Google, and Microsoft via @stratechery #AI

Can AI Write Authentic Poetry?

HT @ThadMcIlroy So, what is the current state of AI and computer-generated poetry? This is a less central question than might be supposed. Especially in this time of rapid AI advances, the current state of the artificial poetic arts is merely a transitory benchmark. We need to set aside the old stereotype that computer programs simply follow fixed rules and do what humans have programmed them to do, and so lack any capacity for creativity. Computer programs can now learn from enormous sets of data using methods called deep learning.

CNET Is Experimenting With an AI Assist. Here’s Why

RT @mediagazer After a report, CNET says it is testing AI to help editors write some articles, has changed bylines on AI-assisted posts, and made disclosures more prominent

TikTok launches a Talent Manager Portal so managers can negotiate brand deals for clients

TikTok is making it easier for brands to work with its “megastar” creators with an update to its Creator Marketplace that now invites talent managers to oversee, execute and analyze the brand opportunities and campaigns being presented to their clients. This week, the video entertainment platform introduced a new Talent Manager Portal as a part of the TikTok Creator Marketplace — its platform that allows brands and agencies to connect with 800,000 qualified creators around the world.

YouTube will start sharing ad money with Shorts creators on February 1st

YouTube announced that creators can start making ad revenue on Shorts starting February 1st, following a promise from September that the monetization option was on its way. The change is coming as part of a broader update to YouTube’s Partner Program, which will require everyone who’s currently part of it to sign new agreement terms, whether or not they’re looking to make money from Shorts.

Publishing & Media

Sonic Boom: Spanish-Language Audiobooks Are Soaring

HT @elizabethscraig Between 2017 and the end of 2022, Javier Celaya says, the field of Spanish-language audio providers has grown from 15 to more than 60.

What You Don’t Know About the HarperCollins Strike

HT @inkbitspixels Anne Helen Petersen talks with one of the union leaders, associate editor Rachel Kambury, about why this strike matters so much — and the radical, industry-shifting potential of their relatively small but massively important demands. Even more importantly: she has specific ways for how you can actually back-up a belief that publishing should be more diverse, and that the people who produce books shouldn’t have to come from family money to make ends meet. And if you’re too busy to read for whatever reason, the TL;DR is quite simple: here’s how you make this strike survivable for those who’ve now been out of work for nearly two months.

Colleen Hoover’s ‘tone-deaf’ coloring book inspired by her novel about domestic violence won’t be published after all

Colleen Hoover announced Tuesday she was publishing a coloring book inspired by “It Ends With Us.” The novel is largely about domestic violence, leading many to criticize the coloring book. On Wednesday, Hoover’s publisher (Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) announced the project wouldn’t move forward.

Mayor’s Proposed Cuts to Libraries Will Hurt New Yorkers, Leaders Say

New York’s public libraries could be forced to cut their hours and programming. The City Council wants to protect their funding in the next budget battle.

Podcasts and newsletters ‘critical’ part of strategy for publishers in 2023

RT @MattNavarra News publishers plan to create more podcasts + newsletters in 2023 🗣️📰

- Most publishers said that podcasts and digital audio (72%) and newsletters (69%) would be key investment areas.

- Both channels have been shown to drive audience loyalty.

Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2023

This will be a year of heightened concerns about the sustainability of some news media against a backdrop of rampant inflation, and a deep squeeze on household spending. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the increasingly destructive impact of global warming, along with the after-effects of the COVID pandemic have created fear and uncertainty for many ordinary people. In these conditions journalism has often thrived, but the depressing and relentless nature of the news agenda continues to turn many people away. Could this be the year when publishers rethink their offer to address the twin challenges of news avoidance and disconnection — to offer more hope, inspiration, and utility?

Resources & Opportunities

Media Changemakers: Real Actions You Can Take To Make A Difference

Do you want to make a real difference about causes you believe in? How do you do that with a full-time job in media? Women’s Media Group is pleased to invite you to a Master Class with some powerful and purposeful media changemakers who will share their stories, vision, and how they made it happen. Learn from:

Author Platform and Book Launch Essentials Workshop with Dan Blank

Free workshop 1/20 12:30pm ET: Dan Blank will share three critical strategies for anyone who is trying to grow their audience as a writer or prepare for a book launch, with a live Q&A.

New Year New Books Party 2023

PENAmerica’s free New Year New Books Party. Friday, January 20, 2023 | 7:00 pm — 9:00 pm ET Sean Kelly Gallery 475 10th Ave, New York, NY 10018

92nd St. Y Discovery Poetry Contest

RT @92NYPoetry Deadline Extended! For over 60 years @92Y Discovery Contest has launched the careers of major poets. Four winners receive a reading here, publication in @lithub, a two-night residency at the ACE Hotel, and $500 each.

Making Accessible Books

RT @LauraB7 Check out this cool #InclusivePublishing resource. #eprdctn #a11y Making Accessible Books is an introductory educational resource for accessibility in books and reading, featuring the production and distribution of print, digital, and audio books.

WEBINAR: The New Crisis in Access to and Use of Pantone Color Names & Colorant Values in Publishing Workflows

RT @PRINTINGUnited Join us on Wednesday, January 18th, at 2:00 PM EST as we discuss publication workflows and the Pantone color library. Can’t join us live? No worries. Sign up to be notified when the webinar recording is available on-demand. #Creatives #Designers

Brooklyn Public Library and PEN America Teaming Up to Train High School Students to Defend Against Book Bans, Promote the Freedom to Read

MT @jonfreadom Coming soon. The “Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute” for HS students from @PENamerica @BKLYNlibrary! 4-part online free program in Feb all about the freedom to read and how to fight book bans. Guest speakers: @reshmasaujani @JenCousinsFL @Jack_Petocz & more.

Climate Champion Profiles storytelling challenge

MT @YouthandNews It’s time to get moving: The deadline is 1 March for the Climate Champion Profiles storytelling challenge open to teenage journalists worldwide. Cash award, coaching, publication by @newsdecoder

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Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own