Amazon and fake AI books

Here’s a summary from Quartz:

Author Jane Friedman spotted more books on Amazon this week that falsely claimed to be written by her than ones she actually wrote.

At least five books under her name were taken down from Amazon yesterday (Aug. 8) after Friedman wrote a blog post on Aug. 7 detailing her experience finding books under her name being sold on Amazon and listed on Goodreads, the Amazon-owned social media and book-logging platform for readers.

Here’s another story about the fake IA books on Amazon:

Five books for sale on Amazon were removed after author Jane Friedman complained that the titles were falsely listed as being written by her. The books, which Friedman believes were written by AI, were also listed on the Amazon-owned reviews site Goodreads.

“It feels like a violation, because it’s really low quality material with my name on it,” Friedman told the Guardian. The Ohio-based author has written several books about the publishing industry, and the fraudulent titles mimicked her real work. How to Write and Publish an eBook Quickly and Make Money and A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Compelling eBooks, Building a Thriving Author Platform, and Maximizing Profitability were two of the listed books. Friedman’s real books include The Business of Being a Writer and Publishing 101.

One of the falsely attributed books’ descriptions read: “This book offers practical strategies, tips, and techniques to help writers streamline their writing process, accelerate their eBook publication timeline, and maximize their earning potential.”

Have you heard about this scam before? What are your thoughts about AI and writing?

41 thoughts on “Amazon and fake AI books

  1. Not something I was aware of but then I usually borrow from the library so don’t often cruise Amazon for books. Like so much today though, I’m not surprised at all.

      • I see it as a source of lots of problems depending on what people choose to do with it and how willing we are as a whole society to buy into it given how hard it is to determine facts already.

  2. Wow, I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I’m not surprised. With the exponential acceleration of technology, I fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.

  3. It is a scary prospect. I can see where an author could garner a following who shares their point of view on something, or who considers them an expert on something, and then AI would make it seem that author is leaning differently which could sway those who respect them.
    It is sad. We already feel like it is hard to find someone to trust. With this possibility, that would increase because we won’t be sure if someone we look up to really said what they’re said to have said. Ugh, I get a headache just saying that. It is like photoshop- can’t believe your own eyes anymore. Praise God for His Holy Spirit. We are going to have to lean on Him for discernment more than ever!

  4. Have you heard about this scam before? I have not, but I’m cynical enough to say I’m not surprised.

    What are your thoughts about AI and writing? I saw AI described as “plagiarism software” and that sums it up for me. I don’t live in fear of it, but it’s going to make all our lives more complicated. Case in point, Jane’s discovery.

  5. Whoa – I hadn’t heard of this and the whole idea of borrowing someone’s name to do it fascinates and horrifies me! Glad she was able to get it resolved but holy smokes. Thanks for the interesting discussion, Elizabeth!

  6. It’s crazy what ai can do. It’s also terrible that it opens up a market where people steal others’ work/names to make a profit. As someone who wishes to be a published author one day, I’m unsure about the future or even how to protect my work. Thank you for sharing and helping to keep people informed ❤️

    • I’m with you on wanting to be a published author (as in a book). I think what the writer who went public with this said is we have to trademark our name. Then anyone who uses it can be sued. Isn’t is awful that people would steal from hard working people?

      • Yes, definitely terrible that others think it is ok to steal from hard-working individuals. I feel trademarking your name is only part of the solution, though. We need more protocols for the internet and advancing technology in general. It feels like we aren’t keeping up in a lot of ways.

  7. While others have gleefully embraced AI, I have mostly felt trepidation. If it could only be used for good, that would be fine, but I know that humans have a tendency of finding ways to mess things up. I’m sorry that Jane is going through this, and I expect that she is not alone.

  8. Yes! I saw some books like this and I reported them. They copied the name and artwork of the original, but the guts of the book were all messed up like they’d been copied wrong.

Leave a Reply