Publishers Show Keen Interest In Artificial Intelligence At The SSP Annual Meeting

Lately, the topic of AI in scholarly publishing has been gaining popularity as the industry has started to discuss and explore its relevance and applicability. In the recent Scholarly Kitchen post Living with an AI: A Glimpse Into The Future, David Smith pondered the huge implications that AI might have for the future of publishing, at the recent Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting several sessions focused on the role of AI for various functions within the industry. And, while much of the industry’s focus has been on AI solutions for peer-review, it has also been broadening its perspective on the potential uses for AI in publishing workflows and to increase discoverability.


It was no surprise that Yewno drew a significant audience at their session: ‘Unearthing Hidden Value’ as part of the launch of Yewno Unearth at the SSP Annual Meeting. Co-presenting with Amy Brand (Director of MIT Press), Co-Founder of Yewno Ruth Pickering unveiled Unearth to individuals from across the industry. Ruth explained how her work with publishers, such as MIT Press, during the development of Yewno Discover surfaced the need to provide an AI solution that would help them understand their own content in more detail.

Amy Brand — whose background in linguistics and cognitive science led her to explore Yewno’s solutions — explained how her interest was piqued when Ruth first presented Yewno Discover at MIT. From there, they partnered to develop Unearth as a product that focused on publisher needs. With deep insight into the potential uses of Unearth at MIT Press, Brand explained how they have tested the product in various ways, including the selection of content for a topical subject page and finding previously unexpected but relevant content across a range of subjects.

The topic of the use of AI in scholarly publishing in general came up in other sessions at the event, including a session entitled ‘Will Richer Metadata Rescue Research?’ session, in which the future AI metadata automation tools were discussed. Given the growing interest in AI solutions for publishing, this trend looks to continue to be part of the publishing landscape for years to come.