The Frankfurt Book Fair in one word: impressive! For my work in the European Parliament’s Culture Committee, having the opportunity to talk to all kinds of people from the industry was great. It was an important anniversary, the 75th edition.
180,000 visitors, 4,000 exhibitors from 95 countries and other industry representatives exchanged views on opportunities, challenges and problems. And one topic unites them all: the use of artificial intelligence. Experts demonstrated how they can use “ChatGPT” to design a book idea, including the storyline and book cover. Impressive. But what does this mean for authors and illustrators? They naturally see the danger that stories written by artificial intelligence will flood the market. Or that nobody will want to have their book illustrated “by hand” anymore.
It also became clear in Frankfurt that artificial intelligence can be a help in culture. But politicians must urgently ensure that everything takes place within a legally secure framework. I will of course continue to work on this topic after the book fair. It will keep us very busy in the book sector over the next few years, both negatively and positively.
I was also able to speak to Can Dündar at the book fair. The author was convicted in Turkey for reporting the truth. He lives in exile in Berlin and is a prominent example of a persecuted journalist. But also of a journalist who will not give up. We are continuing the dialogue on journalists facing threats.
The Ukraine had its own stand again in Frankfurt. “For us, it’s about continuing to be visible,” the Ukrainian women told me there. 30 authors have died in the war, many more are currently fighting and aren’t able to write. Which makes their presence in Frankfurt with more than 500 books even more important – because the Russian war of aggression is not destroying Ukraine’s culture.
We want to strengthen the rights of creative artists in the European Union. To achieve this, dialogue with industry representatives (here with the European Writers Council) is very important – and the Frankfurt Book Fair is the perfect place for this.