Aspiring authors turn to ChatGPT to rapidly publish books on Kindle
OpenAI's conversational chatbot ChatGPT has led to a surge of self-published books on Amazon's Kindle store, Reuters reported. This could have drastic effects on the publishing industry, flooding the market with low-quality books and putting a lot of authors out of work.
Since its launch, ChatGPT has been tested for its writing skills by a lot of people, whether for writing essays for college assignments or poems for loved ones. However, many aspiring authors have turned to the tool to rapidly write books for them, and self-publishing on Amazon's Kindle platform.
What's the best AI to write a book?
While the scientific world discussed the merits and demerits of listing ChatGPT as an author, those in the publication world scurried to make a quick buck by asking the tool to do the hard work. Not only did these authors generate texts using ChatGPT, but they also turned to generative AI for images and made fully illustrated books in no more than a day.
In the past, publishing houses have been the gatekeepers to which books make it to the market and which don't. However, Amazon opened the floodgates in 2007 by launching its Kindle Direct Publishing service which allows anybody to publish their book from the comfort of their homes, for a share in the revenue that it generates.
When ChatGPT arrived in November, authors put the tool to task by generating pieces of text on a variety of topics ranging from children's stories to investment advice and also about the next generation of AI to name a few. Interesting among these is a book of poems written by AI about how the poet hates AI.
With little effort that goes into making the book, the AI-assisted authors can aim to publish as many as 300 books a year and each copy can be sold for as little as 1 dollar. While experts warned that this could rapidly turn the craft of writing into a commodity, the platform, Amazon, requires no transparency from the author if the book was indeed written by AI. This could mean that there are many other books written by AI on the platform without disclosures.
The impact of these actions is also seen on publication houses like Clarkesworld which have been flooded with submissions like never before, FT reported. Although OpenAI has released a tool to detect if the text was generated by AI, its accuracy is not very high at the moment.
Moreover, AI has also been found to be 'hallucinating'- the term used to showcase how it shares false information confidently and this could reflect in the quality of books written as well. Although the rise of AI could put a lot of writers out of work, experts suggest that it could also produce many dull books, which readers would not pick up in the future.
Surely, as Bill Gates said, we are on the cusp of something revolutionary with AI.
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