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Amazon faces backlash as AI-generated book rip-offs hit shelves

Jane Friedman forced Amazon to delete five AI-generated books bearing her name. The surge of AI-generated content on Amazon alarms authors like Margaret Atwood, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Philip Pullman, who fear their works are used to train AI models without their approval, payment, or acknowledgement

Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: October 01, 2023 12:29 IST
author, tech news, amazon book scam, author
Image Source : INDIA TV Authors outraged as AI-generated book scams thrive on Amazon

Authors are expressing shock and frustration as they discover AI-generated copies of their books being sold on Amazon. Rory Cellan-Jones, a writer-journalist, stumbled upon a memoir he co-authored with an unfamiliar cover designer on Amazon. Investigation revealed that the text appeared to be generated by AI, likely through tools like ChatGPT, allowing individuals to create pages of text without writing them themselves.

While some of these AI-generated titles have been removed by Amazon, many others continue to evade filters designed to weed out low-quality books. For instance, one individual, using the pseudonym 'Steven Walryn,' managed to publish fifteen AI-generated books in a single day before they were eventually taken down.

In August, author Jane Friedman compelled Amazon to remove five fake titles bearing her name, all of which were AI-generated. The flood of AI-generated content on Amazon has raised concerns within the literary community. Notably, acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Philip Pullman are worried that their works are being used to train AI in large language models without their consent, remuneration, or credit.

Amazon maintains that it invests significant resources to enforce its guidelines and remove books that violate them. The company permits AI-generated content but draws the line at material that contravenes its content guidelines or delivers a subpar customer experience.

This issue has escalated, leading to legal action. Last month, The Authors' Guild, along with 17 prominent authors including Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, and Jodi Picoult, filed a lawsuit against OpenAI in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that OpenAI copied their works wholesale, without permission or compensation, to feed copyrighted materials into large language models.

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In another lawsuit, authors Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman accused OpenAI of benefiting from the unauthorized and illegal use of their copyrighted content. These legal actions underscore the growing challenges surrounding AI-generated content and its impact on the publishing industry.

This situation highlights the need for robust mechanisms to protect authors' intellectual property and ensure that AI-generated content respects copyright laws and ethical considerations. As AI technology continues to evolve, addressing these challenges will remain a critical issue for authors, publishers, and digital platforms like Amazon.

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Inputs from IANS



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