After facing complaints from groups like the Authors Guild for several months, Amazon.com has initiated a new policy mandating that writers who wish to sell their books through its e-book program must notify the company in advance if their work contains artificial intelligence content.
The Authors Guild has welcomed these new regulations, which were published on Wednesday, considering them a “positive first step” in combating the proliferation of computer-generated books on Amazon’s platform. Many authors were concerned that AI-generated books could overshadow traditional literary works and potentially mislead consumers who were unaware they were purchasing AI-generated content.
In a statement on its website, the Guild expressed appreciation to the Amazon team for addressing their concerns and implementing this important measure to ensure transparency and accountability regarding AI-generated content.
According to Amazon’s recently updated content guidelines, AI-generated content refers to text, images, or translations created using AI-based tools. Amazon is making a distinction between AI-assisted content, which doesn’t require disclosure, and fully AI-generated work.
However, the immediate impact of this decision may be limited because Amazon does not currently plan to publicly label books as AI-generated. A company spokesperson mentioned that this policy could be subject to revision.
Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Guild, revealed that discussions with Amazon regarding AI material have been ongoing since earlier in the year. She stated, “Amazon didn’t oppose the idea of disclosure, but they needed time to consider it. We kept urging them, and we believe they will eventually require public disclosure for AI-generated works.”
The Authors Guild, representing a large number of published authors, played a role in organizing an open letter in July, urging AI companies not to use copyrighted material without proper permission. Renowned authors such as James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, and Suzanne Collins were among those who endorsed the letter.