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Vancouver’s Legible to enable readers to use AI to converse with book characters

Book publisher seeks to distinguish itself from larger competition
Legible Inc. CEO Kaleeg Hainsworth's company sells books that readers can stream from its website and read on a range of digital devices

Vancouver’s Legible Inc. (CSE:READ) is set to use artificial intelligence (AI) to enable readers to more fully engage in books that they are reading, and chat back and forth with book characters.

Its initial book release using AI is called Animal Farm AI  and is based on George Orwell’s classic 1945 book Animal Farm, CEO Kaleeg Hainsworth told BIV this afternoon.

“Let's say you get through the first chapter of Animal Farm, at the very end, when the animals all go to rest,” Hainsworth said.

“All of a sudden, a text message appears inside of the book.”

The reader takes the role of one of two hens who live on the animal farm.  The other hen might ask the reader about events that had just happened, with the reader able to respond, Hainsworth said.

“As you start talking and texting back and forth with your other hen friend in Animal Farm about the events, you're exploring the events of the book, you're talking about what's happening and you're getting into the characters.”

His plan is to release the ebook in August, and then in time publish other books that similarly use AI to add a level of interactivity. Those books would also be based on classic tales, such as Jane Ayre and The Count of Monte Cristo.

All of the books in this series are off copyright, and therefore able to be modified, he explained.

The books are designed to appeal to adults and children.

Hainsworth founded Legible, which is a book seller as well as a book publisher, in early 2020. He spent much of the pandemic building up Legible’s catalog of content from publishers around the world.

He said that his website sells about two million book titles and is readying to launch sales for around 200,000 audiobooks.

The company is based in Vancouver but does not lease any office space. It employs 14 people, including sales representatives and software developers, Hainsworth said.

Legible’s shares went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in December 2021.

Hainsworth said the company has been selling books for approximately one year. The company’s most recent quarter, ended March 31, saw it generate $10,583 in revenue while losing more than $1.2 million. The company's shares have thin trading volume and closed trading today at $0.11.

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