LAB51 logo

Is AI the New Competition for Authors and Writers?

LAB51_Feat Image_AI written books
By Dolma Memmishofer
Dolma Memmishofer

4 Min

May 24, 2023

The creation of AI has taken over the business industries by storm, especially in the Media Sector. Marketers often rely on AI-powered tools like ChatGPT for content creation and data generation. However, there is a concern that this may lead to a decline in genuine content creation, publishing, and market research since the accuracy and reliability of ChatGPT still need to be fully validated. 

The recent surge in AI-written books sold on Amazon poses a significant challenge for genuine authors and publishers.

Amazon Flooded with AI-written Books

ChatGPT has revolutionized the way we search and write in many ways. Significantly in book creation, enabling people to create books in a few hours with AI may cause challenges in the future of having the joy of reading a carefully curated masterpiece.

Writing a book is a complex and time-consuming process that requires notable effort and creativity. However, AI text generation tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT have made it easier for aspiring writers to produce books more quickly. 

Amazon's self-publishing platform - Kindle Direct Publishing - has seen an increase in AI-generated books, raising concerns among many authors and the literary community about the quality and authenticity of these books. 

Reuters reported that as of mid-February, the Kindle store on Amazon housed an impressive collection of more than 200 e-books attributed to ChatGPT either as an author or co-author, which continues to grow steadily each day. Interestingly, a distinctive sub-genre has emerged on Amazon: a dedicated category of books focused on utilizing ChatGPT, exclusively authored by ChatGPT itself.

Now, as ChatGPT emerges, it seems poised to disrupt the traditional book industry. Aspiring novelists and self-help experts seeking quick monetary gains increasingly rely on this software to generate AI-written e-books, which they subsequently publish through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

Among these new authors, illustrated children's books have gained particular popularity. Online platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Reddit have witnessed a surge in tutorials demonstrating how to create a book within a matter of hours. The tutorials cover various subjects, such as tips on becoming wealthy quickly, advice on dieting, software coding tips, and recipes.

According to Reuters, Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, a writers' organization, has expressed concern about the future of authors. She acknowledged that while ghostwriting has long been a part of the writing landscape, the introduction of AI automation could transform book writing from a craft into a mere commodity. Rasenberger emphasized the need for transparency from both authors and publishing platforms regarding the process of creating these books. Failing to address this issue could result in an inundation of low-quality publications flooding the market.

Chris Cowell, whose book title has inspired an AI-generated imitation, has found his enthusiasm for writing dampened by the experience. According to him, the issue lies not so much in the loss of sales due to counterfeit books but rather in the concern that this subpar, cheaply priced, and effortless writing will discourage aspiring authors from venturing into the realm of niche technical books. He expressed his worry, noting that it is disheartening to realize that any text he produces will inevitably be fed into an AI system, subsequently generating even greater competition.

What are the main issues we face with AI-generated Books and Texts?

Although many might argue how cost and time-efficient ChatGPT is, AI-generated content has caused concerns as it could create a feedback loop where AI text generators repeat each other's content with a similar tone text. In April alone, NewsGuard, a firm that measures the credibility of online news sources, identified 49 websites producing content that seemed to be mostly or entirely generated by AI. This has become a new reality that companies behind major publishers are now dealing with, with some trying to hide their use of AI while others openly advertise it. 

However, some online publishers argue that leveraging generative AI tools to create content is a service to their audience in creating good and valuable content. Nonetheless, online publications like CNET and BuzzFeed have already extensively used the technology to generate often inaccurate and repetitive content.

The absence of creativity and personal touch is another disadvantage of using AI to create content. An article by TechTarget states that AI cannot generate emotionally engaging stories and mainly adds factual information to a predetermined structure. It heavily relies on pre-existing data and needs help comprehending the user's intent or human behavior in general. Consequently, an AI-generated text or content would eventually require a human touch and having to rewrite or rephrase for better and more meaningful book content unless one chooses to keep the same tone.