Enhancing the Reading Experience: Bridging Authors and Readers via AI

Chunka Mui
4 min readDec 27, 2023
A Custom GPT for “A Brief History of a Perfect Future”

“Reading good books is like engaging in conversation with the most cultivated minds of past centuries who had composed them, or rather, taking part in a well-conducted dialogue in which such minds reveal to us only the best of their thoughts.” — Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes once likened reading good books to conversing with the great minds of the past. This image beautifully sets the stage for the next evolution in reading, where AI guides, trained on an author’s intent and writings, enhance this dialogue.

In this spirit, let me introduce my next experiment in taking my own dialogue with readers to another level. I’m developing a custom AI guide for my recent book, “ A Brief History of a Perfect Future.” If you’re interested in trying out a free beta version, send me a message via my website or let me know in the comments below. And if you help spread the word by reposting this article on your favorite social platform, I’ll also send you a free eBook copy of the book as a thank you.

Imagine the future of reading where many books come with custom AI guides. These guides, trained on the book’s content, will enhance the “well-conducted dialogue” Descartes spoke of and help reveal the best of the author’s thoughts. If well done, they will serve as bridges between authors and readers, offering personalized, interactive, and innovative ways to explore, learn, and apply insights from the book. Such guides could become as standard as eBooks, audiobooks, websites, book trailers, podcasts, author lectures, and other resources that enrich the core book experience.

My AI guide, tentatively named “Future Histories GPT,” is part of my hands-on exploration of Generative AI technology. As I’ve discussed in previous posts (linked here and here), my goal is to understand the current capabilities and limitations of this technology by applying it to my creative process.

While querying a PDF document on platforms like ChatGPT is not new, I’ve found that using such systems often leads to unsatisfactory results. The off-the-shelf tools I’ve tried didn’t meet the quality standards I set for our book.

To address this, I hand-trained OpenAI’s custom GPT builder using structured knowledge bases. These knowledge bases organize and tag the book’s content, annotate key concepts and themes, and highlight sections of particular importance. I also fine-tuned the model with custom instructions and engineered prompts that align with my intentions.

The result, from this author’s perspective, is respectable and does justice to the core work, though it remains a work in progress. The exciting part is, if I can build this in a short amount of time, imagine what professionals with advanced tools will achieve.

Here’s how my Future Histories GPT can add value for different readers, along with some example queries:

General Readers:

  • Please explain the concept of the Laws of Zero in layman’s terms.
  • What can an individual do about changing the future?
  • Compare and contrast this book with Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” and Yuval Noah Harari’s “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.”


  • I’m a high school teacher. How might I relate the book’s themes to current environmental studies?
  • Design an AP English assignment on ethical issues related to transportation, including a teaching guide.
  • Suggest three writing prompts for students based on Chapter 14’s exploration of individual roles in building the future.


  • Draw parallels between ‘A Brief History of a Perfect Future’ and historical technological revolutions.
  • Compare this book’s vision of 2050 with George Orwell’s 1984.
  • Provide three ideas for term papers on the future of trust as depicted in the book.


  • Design a learning workshop on the impact of the Laws of Zero on my industry.
  • Assist me in writing a future history for my company and industry.
  • Why should my company engage in the future history of climate change?

Whatever your interests, the best way to start is by telling the GPT about yourself and asking how it can assist you.

To be clear, engaging with our book (or any book) through a GPT is not a substitute for reading it. However, exploring our book through the GPT, in addition to reading it, will help reveal the collective best ideas of me and my coauthors, Paul Carroll and Tim Andrews, along with that of numerous expert across various fields that contributed to the book.

I invite you to experience it. If you’re interested giving me feedback on a free beta version, let me know in the comments below or send me a message via my website. I will send you a link. And if you help spread the word by reposting this article on your favorite social platform, I’ll also send you a free eBook copy of the book as a thank you.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.



Chunka Mui

Futurist and Innovation Advisor. I try to carry out Alan Kay’s exhortation that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”