Artificial Intelligence

New AI technologies necessitate legal and policy interventions that balance development of useful AI tools with protection of human authorship.

Artificial intelligence machines capable of generating text-based works pose a serious threat to the writing profession. Generative technologies built using vast amounts of copyrighted works without the permission of or compensation to authors and creators can cheaply and easily produce works that compete with—and displace—human-authored books, journalism, and other works. The market dilution caused by AI-generated works will ultimately result in a shrinking of the profession as fewer human authors will be able to sustain a living practicing their craft, and shut out important, diverse voices. Beyond the economic impact on writers, the unregulated development and use of generative AI technologies will lower the quality of books, journalism, and public discourse fundamental to democratic culture.

The Authors Guild believes that it is crucial for our culture and the future of democracy to ensure that our literary arts remain vibrant and diverse. To protect the future of writing, we are actively lobbying for sensible policies and regulations governing the development and use of generative AI. At the same time, we are educating government officials, legislators, authors, and the public about the potential impacts of generative AI, and equipping our members with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate this new landscape.

The Impact of AI Technologies on the Writing Profession

Today, commercial AI programs can already write articles, books, compose music, and render images in response to text prompts, and their ability to do these tasks is improving at a rapid clip. A wide assortment of tools to help writers write are commercially available today and show great potential to expedite and improve many writers’ outputs. At the same time, the use of AI in place of human writers is right around the corner for many kinds of written work, and it threatens to crowd the market for human authored books.

Read More About the Impact of AI Technologies on the Writing Profession

Further Reading

Positions and Policy Recommendations

In addition to our advocacy on behalf of writers, we are also leading a coalition of creator organizations to push for legislative and policy interventions to shore up the creative markets against disruptions from generative AI.

Read the Creator Coalition’s Policy Recommendations (PDF)

Read FAQs on Our Positions and Advocacy Around Generative AI

Advocacy Efforts

DateAction
December 2023Authors Guild Supports Nonfiction Writers in Lawsuit Against OpenAI
The plaintiffs in a class action suit on behalf of nonfiction authors include a number of Authors Guild members and council members.
December 2023New Authors Guild AI Survey Reveals That Authors Overwhelmingly Want Consent and Compensation for Use of Their Works
More than 2,400 authors responded to the Guild’s second AI survey, which delved deeper into some of the issues around generative AI.
October 2023Authors Guild Calls on U.S. Copyright Office to Require Consent and Compensation for AI Training
The Authors Guild submitted extensive comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to its call for public input on AI and copyright policy. Read more
September 2023Authors Guild Shares Action Checklist for Authors Whose Books Were Used to Train AI Systems
In response to a searchable database of pirated books used to train AI systems published in The Atlantic, the Authors Guild published a list of actions authors could take, including sending a new form letter to AI companies telling them that they do not have the right to use the authors’ books. Read more
September 2023Authors Guild, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, George R.R. Martin, and 13 Other Authors File Class-Action Suit Against OpenAI
The Authors Guild and 17 authors filed a class-action suit against OpenAI for copyright infringement of their works of fiction on behalf of a class of fiction writers whose works have been used to train GPT. Read more
September 2023Authors Guild Shares Practical Tips for Authors to Protect Their Works from AI Use
The Authors Guild released a copyright notice prohibiting use in AI training as well as details on how authors could stop OpenAI’s web crawler from accessing their websites. Read more
September 2023Amazon’s New Disclosure Policy for AI-Generated Book Content Is a Welcome First Step
After months of discussions with the Authors Guild, Amazon announced a new policy requiring those who post content to its KDP platform to disclose to Amazon if the work contains AI-generated content, including text, images, or translations. Read more
July 2023Authors Guild Submits Written Testimony in Senate AI Hearing
The Guild submitted comments to the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, elaborating the risks to the writing profession and proposing detailed policy recommendations. Read more
July 2023More than 15,000 Authors Sign Authors Guild Letter Calling on AI Industry Leaders to Protect Writers
The Authors Guild submitted an open letter to the CEOs of OpenAI, Alphabet, Meta, Stability AI, IBM, and Microsoft, calling attention to the inherent injustice of building lucrative generative AI technologies using copyrighted works and asking them to obtain consent from, credit, and fairly compensate authors. Read more
June 2023Authors Guild Introduces New Publishing Agreement Clauses Concerning AI
The Authors Guild introduced four new clauses concerning AI to its Model Trade Book Contract and Model Literary Translation Contract covering AI-generated book translations, audiobook narration, and cover art. Read more
June 2023Authors Guild Returns to the Hill to Discuss Generative AI
The Authors Guild again met with the offices of key lawmakers in Congress to address critical issues concerning generative AI and protective measures for writers. Read more
May 2023Survey Reveals 90 Percent of Writers Believe Authors Should Be Compensated for the Use of Their Books in Training Generative AI
The Authors Guild published the results of a survey to fully understand and frame important issues around the use and development of generative AI technology. More than 1,700 authors responded. Read more
April 2023Authors Guild, Creator Groups Meet Lawmakers on AI Issues
The Authors Guild went to Washington, D.C., to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the potential harms of generative AI programs to the literary and creative economies and to lobby for legal guardrails that would mitigate the risks. Read more
March 2023AG Recommends Clause in Publishing and Distribution Agreements Prohibiting AI Training Uses
The Authors Guild added a new clause to its Model Trade Book Contract and Model Literary Translation Contract prohibiting the use of an author’s work for training artificial intelligence technologies without the author’s express permission. Read more
January 2020Authors Guild Submits Comments on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence
The Authors Guild filed comments with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office concerning developments in AI and the ramifications for authors. Read more

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