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Amazon to require some authors to disclose the use of AI material

Amazon.com has started requiring writers who want to sell books through its e-book program to inform the company in advance that their work has artificial intelligence material after receiving complaints from the Authors Guild and other groups for several months. 

The new regulations, posted on Wednesday, were praised by the Authors Guild as a “welcome first step” in the right direction towards preventing an excess of computer-generated books on the online retailer’s site. Numerous authors were concerned that computer-generated books might displace traditional works and be unfair to readers unaware they were buying AI content.

In a statement on its website, the Guild expressed gratitude toward “the Amazon team for taking our concerns into account and enacting this important step toward ensuring transparency and accountability for AI-generated content.”

This week’s passage on Amazon’s content guideline page said, “We define AI-generated content as text, images, or translations created by an AI-based tool.” Amazon differentiates between AI-assisted content from AI-generated content, which authors are not required to disclose.  

However, the decision’s initial impact might be limited because Amazon will not publicly identify books with AI, a policy that a company spokesperson said may change.   

Guild CEO Mary Rasenberger stated that since the beginning of this year, her company has been interacting with Amazon regarding AI content.

“Amazon never opposed requiring disclosure but just said they had to think it through, and we kept nudging them. We think and hope they will eventually require public disclosure when a work is AI-generated,” she told The Associated Press on Friday.  

The Guild, representing thousands of published authors, helped put together an open letter in July urging AI firms not to use copyrighted material without permission. The authors who endorsed the letter are James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, and Suzanne Collins.

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