This article by Kris Kliemann first appeared in the Frankfurt Book Fair 2018 edition of the IPR Rights Magazine.

IPR Kristin Kliemann photo

At IPR we have written a lot about Blockchain and how it could impact the rights and licensing industry. But what else is out there that might impact our industry?

There are so many huge technological revolutions being lauded as the next thing on the horizon, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Deep Learning (DL) and, of course, one of IPR’s favourite topics, Blockchain. But what is really impacting our industry now?

Of the clutch of new developments, the number one that is here and now is AI. When it comes to marketing and reaching audiences, AI is fast becoming core. One of our key activities at IPR is marketing and audience development, and for us AI is a really exciting disruption. Online marketing gives us a direct communication channel to our audience, giving us the ability to measure and adjust, and AI is the perfect tool to refine marketing and make it truly impactful.

One interesting AI tool we have our eye on is Adobe Sensei which promises to deliver intelligent, measurable and adaptable marketing. As a service provider and marketer in the publishing industry we know we can’t replace the personal touch and, as consumers know, we all have to sift through masses of online data. Adobe Sensei pledges to work within these confines to help organizations deliver “timely, relevant cross-channel campaigns” and “use customer insights to optimize and personalize experiences”. A tool like this is truly valuable as it can help companies like ours deliver relevance and foster loyalty.

Apart from marketing, AI will touch many areas of our industry including, but not limited to, these functions:

Creative intelligence: machines can take over basic tasks such as cropping images and automating layout.

AI to improve user experience: Check out how Taylor and Francis have partnered with Unsilo to deliver better user experience using AI.

Search: AI or even ML is being used to monitor behaviour and adjust search results for a better experience online. IPR hosts many hundreds of thousands of titles on the platform, so serving excellent search results is important to keep our buyers happy. We are excited by the ML developments in search. Check out Soir, ElasticSearch, LucidWorks, and OpenSearch.

Online recommendations: Moving on from search and ML as a next step, AI can be used to recommend based on past behaviour, allowing for relevance to be delivered to the customer even before they search.

Chatbots, voice search and information delivery: Siri and Alexa are part of our everyday lives but could be used to help our customers too. This is a little way off in the publishing industry, but the use of automated help is something that is fast becoming the norm for online users. At IPR we feel this should be on our long-term radar.


Artificial intelligence (AI) performs tasks that are characteristic of human intelligence, Pepper the Robotfor example planning, learning and problem solving.

Machine learning (ML) is a step further so, instead of coding routines with specific instructions to complete a task, ML adds the dimension of training an algorithm so it can learn how and adapt behaviour.

Deep learning is yet another step further. It’s actually inspired by the structure and function of the brain, and is made up of ANNs or Artificial Neural Networks. Each layer of the network picks out a specific feature to learn, allowing for layered or deep learning. Internet of things (IoT) is devices or items that are connected.

Blockchain is distributed ledger technology and underpins digital currency (like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum). The tech allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied. You may hear it described as a “digital ledger”, stored in a distributed network.


Kris Kliemann is the Head of USA Business Development at IPR License.  She is also the President of Kliemann and Company, Consulting, where she advises companies on strategic approaches to licensing rights, permissions and other copyright and intellectual property for maximum reach and revenue.  High on her agenda is the integration of digital solutions into the rights business.

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