AI(laysa) all set to give wings to publishing
Janani Rajeswari. S speaks to Senthil Nathan, founder and CEO, Ailaysa Technologies Private Limited, about his AI generative content platform and multilingual technology and how it’s all set to revolutionise the publishing world.
Senthil Nathan is the founder and CEO of Ailaysa, a Content Creation Platform. He is a writer, speaker, also a publisher, founder of Aazhi Publishers headquartered in Chennai. He serves as the international coordinator of Chennai International Book Fair as well.
Ailaysa is a content creation platform including many apps, workflows and features to bring content professionals and collaborators in content creation.Here, Senthil Nathan, founder and CEO, Ailaysa Technologies Private Limited shares more.
AABP: How did the whole idea of ‘Ailaysa’ come up?
Senthil: Ailaysa is an idea, as they said, whose time has come. I started a translation company in 1999 and have provided services for more than 60 languages. Our customers are global companies and language service providers and our specialisation remains Indian languages.In the later-half of the last decade, when we worked with many global tech giants on AI-related projects, we sensed that something was going to change. Machine translation technology was well advanced and I feared that our businessas a translation company was in danger. But we were already travelling along with the genesis of modern AI. This encouraged me to explore further and started a new division in our translation company in 2019, now a full company, Ailaysa.
We started offering simple machine translation and post-editing (by professionals) service. However, during and post-Pandemic, we all saw the rapid growth of AI technology. Although we had started using the technology in advance, the bigger challenge was to break through the traditional practices of the industry while introducing new technology. We also looked at making the technology affordable. It was indeed a painful transition from being a services company to a product company. We chose to specialise in news publishing, book publishing and education market segments. My experience in the field of journalism and content creation made me choose the publishing and media as the first segments to work with.
AABP: Tell us about ‘Ailaysa’.
Senthil: It’s a generative AI technology that has multiple options to create content in text, image, audio etc in varied languages. The platform includes freelancers, whom a user can hire to complete their tasks, if need be. With content creation as the focus, we develop various technologies which use AI as the core.We have built workflows and ready-to-use templates to help create, edit, translate and publish content.Handling time-consuming and mundane tasks is now just a click away.
AABP: With AI drawing flak, how is ‘Ailaysa’ different from other Open AI models?
Senthil: The criticism against AI is a valid one, with copyright infringement being an important issue.The impact of AI on workforce and the humanity as a whole is a bigger problem.But AI is the brainchild of collective HI (Human Intelligence), and the continuation of it in a different form.
However, ‘Ailaysa’ tries to leverage AI for content purposes. It uses foundation model technologies like ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, Google Translate, Microsoft Translator etc and creates a new product. In other words, ‘Ailaysa’ is a productivity tool for human professionals, which does not replace human beings.
AABP: How is ‘Ailaysa’ helping the publishing industry?
Senthil: In the case of book publishing, you can use ‘Ailaysa’ to create a draft for a non-fiction book and translate it into more than 100 languages. You can even convert a print book into audio book, create images for book covers and professionally design them. Above all, we have introduced a new concept called Chatbooks, a new revenue model for publishers and authors. So, the idea is to take the content business into the next level with AI.
Take the example of translation. Any book publisher knows that it takes months to a year to translate a book. With Ailaysa, you can accomplish it in no time. The human copyeditors (translators) can improve the machine output for accuracy and fluency. This saves nearly 70 percent of the time taken to complete the task. This helps publishers to take translated books to the market faster. They can also become a pan-Indian or even a global publisher, if they choose to repurpose their content.
If you wish to create an audio book out of a 300–400-page book, you need to hire professional voice artists to complete the task, which is definitely a costly affair. The cost of creating an audio book is sometimes higher than publishing a print one. It’s not possible for budding and small publishers or independent or self-publishing authors to afford publishing audio books with AI voices. For Indian languages, Ailaysa offers top quality and a variety of AI voices.
AABP: What are the unique features of ‘Ailaysa’?
Senthil: It brings AI customised to professional content creators and increases productivity and reduces tech frictions. ‘Ailaysa’ has been a multilingual platform from the very beginning. You can write a prompt, for example, in English or Hindi, and get the output in the language of your choice, Indian or international. Everything you create using ChatGPT can be done here in your own language. You can create content in multiple languages simultaneously. It’s very easy to switch from text to voice, voice to text, text to image etc.
Last October, we launched a new feature called ‘Chatbooks’ in the Frankfurt World Book Fair. You can chat with the content of the books as if you were chatting with a real person (author of the book). For instance, you can chat with a French book in Bengali. Readers can also ask questions. The book will answer them, provided it has the answers. You can get your books discovered by a reader. I believe that ‘Conversational AI’ is going to be the future of communication with any objects with enabling conversations with books. Following printed books, e-books and audiobooks, ‘chat’able books are going to be the fourth format we use in future.
The whole idea is to help the publishing industry benefit from AI, of course but with all guard rails in place.