Artificial Intelligence Poses a New Threat to Authors on Amazon

In an unsettling revelation, a noted author has discovered that new books are being sold on Amazon under her name, only to find that they are artificial intelligence-generated imitations.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Artificial Intelligence Poses a New Threat to Authors on Amazon

In an unsettling revelation, a noted author has discovered that new books are being sold on Amazon under her name, only to find that they are artificial intelligence-generated imitations. Jane Friedman, an established name in the writing and publishing world, was shocked to discover the AI-generated works under her banner.

A concerned reader, looking for more of Friedman's work, stumbled upon one of these fake titles. When describing her initial reaction, Friedman stated, “When I started looking at these books, looking at the opening pages, looking at the bio, it was just obvious to me that it had been mostly, if not entirely, AI-generated ...

I have so much content available online for free, because I’ve been blogging forever, so it wouldn’t be hard to get an AI to mimic me”.

The Larger Concern: Writers vs. AI

As artificial intelligence continues to develop, tools like ChatGPT have begun to produce vast amounts of eerily convincing text.

This advancement has led many in the literary community to voice concerns about the future of the profession. Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, an advocacy group that champions authors' rights, expressed her apprehension.

She remarked, “Generative AI is being used to replace writers — taking their work without permission, incorporating those works into the fabric of those AI models and then offering those AI models to the public, to other companies, to use to replace writers”.

She added, “So you can imagine writers are a little upset about that”. Seeking to raise awareness on the issue, Friedman took to X, formerly known as Twitter, in a well-followed thread and later penned a blog post.

The response was overwhelming, with many authors sharing similar experiences. One responded, “People keep telling me they bought my newest book — that has my name on it but I didn’t write”.

Amazon’s Response and the Path Forward

Addressing the controversy, Amazon swiftly removed the fraudulent books from its listings.

Ashley Vanicek, an Amazon spokesperson, emphasized the company's commitment to maintaining authenticity, saying, “We have clear content guidelines governing which books can be listed for sale and promptly investigate any book when a concern is raised”.

She further highlighted Amazon's commitment to building trust, stating, “We invest heavily to provide a trustworthy shopping experience and protect customers and authors from misuse of our service”.

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