In the year 2023, anybody can be an author — and you barely even have to lift a finger.
Books created using AI text generators are starting to flood Amazon, Reuters reports, the natural progression of a massive surge in interest in the technology.
According to the report, there were over 200 e-books in the e-retailer’s Kindle store as of this month that listed “ChatGPT” as an author — some of which are being sold for as little as $1 — but the real number is likely much higher, since people can use AI without disclosing that fact. As such, getting an accurate estimate is essentially impossible right now, since apps that are designed to detect text generated by an AI are still playing catch up.
AI generators like ChatGPT are making it incredibly easy to fast-track a book and have it published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing store. As Reuters reports, platforms including YouTube and TikTok are already being flooded with tutorials and how-tos.
Many self-professed “authors” are using tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to generate children’s books, illustrated with art also generated using AI-powered apps. Other books are decidedly not child-friendly, like a novella spotted by Reuters and titled “Galactic Pimp: Vol. 1.”
Publishers are unsurprisingly concerned by the new trend.
“This is something we really need to be worried about, these books will flood the market and a lot of authors are going to be out of work,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, told Reuters. “There needs to be transparency from the authors and the platforms about how these books are created or you’re going to end up with a lot of low-quality books.”
It’s a race to the bottom that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Meanwhile, Amazon has yet to announce any policy changes for its Kindle Direct Publishing arm, telling the news agency that it simply abides by intellectual property “and all other applicable laws.”