Industry & Advocacy News
After months of discussions with the Authors Guild, Amazon has announced a new policy requiring those who post content to its KDP platform to disclose to Amazon if the content contains AI-generated content, including text, images, or translations.
September 7, 2023
Today, Amazon announced its new policy requiring those who post content to its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform to disclose to Amazon if the content contains AI-generated content, including text, images, or translations. The new policy comes after months of discussions between the Authors Guild and KDP leadership on the need for safeguards against AI-generated books flooding the platform and displacing human authors and to protect consumers from unwittingly purchasing AI-generated texts. We are grateful to the Amazon team for taking our concerns into account and enacting this important step toward ensuring transparency and accountability for AI-generated content.
The Authors Guild is currently working to ensure that books used to train generative AI are licensed, and we do not encourage the use of any AI that is trained on unlicensed books and journalism. The unchecked use of generative AI technologies to compose the entire text of a book, resulting in AI-generated books, poses a serious threat. In recent months, we have seen examples of AI-generated books ascending the best-seller lists on Amazon, and content farms appropriating the names, styles, and content of well-known authors such as Jane Friedman. This is grossly unfair to the writers who bring unique life experiences and talent to their work, and who cannot fairly compete against industrialized content farms.
That said, once AI technologies are appropriately licensed, they hold promise to help writers as a tool to edit, refine, or assist in ideation, brainstorming, or outlining. The new policy only requires those posting content to KDP to inform Amazon if text, images, or translations are fully “AI-generated”—not if they are “AI-assisted” in supporting an author’s active writing process.
Amazon will use this information to help shape policies around AI-generated content going forward, but has not yet agreed to add disclosures to all book listings for AI-generated books on its other channels outside of KDP, as the Authors Guild requested. We are hopeful, however, that this new policy signals a willingness to move toward providing such transparency for all AI-generated books on Amazon platforms in the near future so that readers can make informed choices.
The Authors Guild will continue working to promote similar transparency from other major platforms and publishers.
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