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George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' to be published as AI-powered 'living book'

FILE - In this undated file photo, writer George Orwell poses at an unknown location. (AP Photo/File) FILE - In this undated file photo, writer George Orwell poses at an unknown location. (AP Photo/File)

As artificial intelligence programs such as ChatGPT offer new tools for creativity and content creation, one company is using AI-powered software in tandem with classic literature in a way you might not expect.

Legible Inc., a book entertainment and media company, will be releasing what it calls an AI-powered "living book" version of George Orwell’s 1945 satirical novella Animal Farm.

Kaleeg Hainsworth, founder and CEO of Legible, says the "living book" pushes the scope of literary engagement.

“This version of Animal Farm will allow readers to interact with the characters and discuss events as they unfold,” Hainsworth explained in a press release.

Legible, a browser-based e-reading platform and ebook store, chose "Animal Farm" because of its relevant themes of power, corruption and propaganda. According to the release, Legible believes these themes are as relevant today as they were in 1945.

Hainsworth said the AI version of the classic book will attract a new generation of readers.

“Audiences can really dive into the thematic elements: Snowball’s motivation behind the Seven Commandments, Napoleon’s use of propaganda – and a key character will discuss each query and carry on a conversation with the reader,” Hainsworth said.

Along with interactive dialogue, Legible says the "living" ebook will also include audio and video elements.

According to the release, Legible is planning on creating more AI-powered "living books" in addition to its version of Animal Farm. After recently signing a deal with children's media company Genius Brands International, a range of modern family-friendly content is in the works.

“Genius produces the globally-acclaimed 'Rainbow Rangers,' which is already on Netflix. But it’ll get new stories, new character development, and a new audience as a multimedia-enriched ebook,” Hainsworth said.

Jon Ollwerther, Genius Brands’ executive vice president of business development, said in the release that AI-powered "living books" are at "the forefront of literary storytelling technology."

The AI-powered version of Animal Farm is set for release in August.

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