back to article Author discovers fake, likely AI-generated books written under her name

Amazon has removed multiple sham books that may have been AI-generated and were published with Jane Friedman as the author – after the real writer complained that someone was misappropriating her name. Friedman was shocked to see she had been credited as the author of numerous books without having written them. She writes …

  1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Keyboard Sounds

    I guess we'll have to make a recording of the sound of each of our keys being pressed, then write a program to output those sounds as specified from a text file. Thus, the sounds of your "real" typing will be intermixed with your program outputting the keypress sounds of "Ipsem Lorem", Shakespeare's plays, or a transcript of social-media-channel-of-your-choice.

    (Icon for audio interference.)

    1. JessicaRabbit

      Re: Keyboard Sounds

      You really needn't bother. Seems they have to train the algorithm anew for each keyboard that it's listening to with samples of audio and the text that was typed i.e. they already have some way to monitor what you're typiing. On top of that if you're a proficient touch typist even with said training the accuracy really isn't all that. It might have some success in a rather targeted attack under special circumstances but as previous discussions have this have stated, just infecting the target's machine with malware is more practical 99% of the time.

    2. Noram

      Re: Keyboard Sounds

      I'm fairly sure they did this "we can tell what you're typing by the sound of the keyboard" at least 10-15 years ago, i guess it's another case of "AI" meaning "we're doing something that's been done before, but adding a new buzzword to it".

      IIRC the old one listened to the sound and basically ran the unique sounds through a program that matched the pattern to words after you'd got an hour or so of material and then could do it in real time. I think you had to have a different "learned" set for each user and keyboard.

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    19 titles?

    Give me a week and a few thousand dollars, I'll read the lot and tell you which, if any of them should be removed from the library.

    Don't worry that my reply is a single, two-letter word. I did read them carefully.

    If you'd like the premium service, give me two weeks and an extra zero and I'll read them to my primary school daughter.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 19 titles?

      I noted especially their "abundance of caution", ie the ChatGPT recommendations are acted on first and then they will await further details and confirmation. If it's too hard to read 19 books first before acting on the "advice" of a known liar, ie ChatGPT, then they have much bigger problems.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Your dystopia preview is ready

    The runner up is someone selling fake books written using ChatGPT on Amazon and Amazon which uses ML to police suppliers, online reviews, and customer service failing yet again at all three.

    The winner is the school district asking ChatGPT to tell them exactly which books out of all the ones they have contain references to sex, ChatGPT confidently making shit up (again), and children's education being restricted as a result.

    Enshittification has escaped from the Internet into the real world.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: Your dystopia preview is ready

      School board drone: Which of the books in our catalog have sexual content and stuff?

      Alleged Intelligence: 'Genesis, Unknown author, no date' looks like it should go, I mean, just look at Chapter 38.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Your dystopia preview is ready

        You get an upvote for the new meaning of the "AI" moniker.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Your dystopia preview is ready

      ...and ChatGPT recommends removal of books from the shelves based on AI generated and curated reviews on a major booksellers tat bazaar. Is that what's known as a circle jerk?

  4. User McUser

    "Key clicks betray passwords, typed text"

    This was already done, way back in 2005, as reported on an obscure website called, let me check my notes here... Ah, it's "The Register?" Huh, OK...

  5. Orv Silver badge

    It seems Cruise driverless taxis just stop dead wherever they are whenever the cell network is overloaded. We've advanced so far as a society that we can now turn network congestion into road congestion!

  6. Tron Silver badge

    It's a phase tech is going through. It will pass.

    I bought a book on Amazon that was either generated by AI or was just really, really bad. Presumably supported by some fake reviews. Eventually some real reviews will warn people about it, and punters will know to avoid them. They will generally avoid a famous author's name and choose a generic one, as their intention will be to stay under the radar for as long as possible. The fake is out there! If the publication date is before this AI gimmickry was released, you should be OK. Students seeking course and revision books, which will be a popular target for scammers, should look for books from major publishers and use their reading lists.

    This isn't new. A while back, a vast number of books appeared on the market containing content pulled from Wikipedia or other internet sources. It was generally easy to spot.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: It's a phase tech is going through. It will pass.

      And there are any number of Print On Demand 'books' that are just copies of stuff from Project Gutenburg sitting in Amazon's listings as well. :(

      (I'm sorry, if I'm wanting a copy of The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, I'd like a copy from an actual publishing house, or just the epub from Porject Gutenburg. (which, come to think on it, I already have...))

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