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In with the old, in with the new
Updated:2018-09-04 17:31:00

A powerful demonstration of the use of artificial intelligence in publishing was the talk of a recent book fair, but there was plenty of evidence that even as technology continues to carry the industry forward, China's past will continue to provide it with a strong foundation
Two first-of-its-kind books representing two prominent publishing trends rubbed shoulders when they were launched at the Beijing International Book Fair, the world's second-largest book fair, that ended on Aug 26.
At the fair visitors were able to wear virtual reality equipment that took them back to historic scenes such as the Red Army's Long March of 1934-36 and the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan in 2008.
They could also relish the magnificence of the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by interacting with their smartphones connected to a big screen displaying images of the canal.
An encyclopedia robot got to show off its skills to enthralled visitors, and some stalls presented the beauty of thousand-year-old Chinese characters or paper binding techniques.
About 300,000 people visited the fair, organizers said, and over its five days more than 1,000 book events were staged throughout Beijing.
At the fair 1,520 publishing organizations from 92 countries and regions joined another 1,000 local publishers and cultural related organizations. What they witnessed was a publishing world pushing on with the task of integrating the very latest technology into everything it does, even as it proudly embraces China's past and holds firm to its cultural roots. In doing so it is well aware that it has a receptive audience not only at home but increasingly abroad.



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