How mentally deficient would one have to be ...
... to purchase such a tone, even if it were written by a human being?
A book that purports to recount the history of this month's deadly Maui wildfire has become a bestseller on Amazon, despite reviewers panning the work because its prose is on a par with that of AI. The 44-page tome, snappily titled "Fire and Fury: The Story of the 2023 Maui Fire and its Implications for Climate Change," is a …
To discover that you have credits for books you never wrote must be quite a surprise.
To not sue the pants off Amazon for publishing such lies is quite a surprise to me.
I think she was quite nice to just ask for their removal from the store. This goes way beyond some unpleasant comment on a forum. If it were me, I would want to know how those "books" got into the store, who is responsible for uploading them and why nobody checked that the purported author had nothing to do with it. And I'd want a judge to back me up on that.
Apparently, either Amazon is creating drivel and happily selling it (not entirely impossible), or the publishing controls at Amazon are so laughable a six-year-old can get around them with a throwaway email account and maybe a forged ID using stock model photos.
Neither is good or Amazon's reputation, but maybe Amazon doesn't care (entirely possible).
"amazon books included titles for sale that were just collections of wikipedia articles"
Hey, at least that lot are being honest about the source of the material and can even legitimately claim copyright on the books (only on the selection of, order and presentation of, the articles, not the actual text - just like publishers copyright their own, carefully curated, selection of Conan Doyle short stories: slap on a quick preface about "old favourites" and you are good to go. Buy yourself an ISBN to really sell it.
Those books are naff, cheap - and you can even call them a ripoff and get hot under the collar about it - but that is all perfectly legal and, as noted, at least those guys don't list them under "anon".
"...at least those guys don't list them under "anon"."
Anonymous is better than a lie, especially from a ethical stance.
"Dr. Miles Stone" has put out 17 books in 2.5 months (since May 28th). He is one bad ass writer that everyone should aspire to when
Ai scripting writing in bulk!!!
" why nobody checked that the purported author had nothing to do with it."
"throwaway email account and maybe a forged ID using stock model photos."
You make it sound as though listing a book needs security checks on the author "excuse me ma'am, but did you pack these words yourself?". Forged ID! Have fun proving you are Emily Bronte or Arthur Conan Doyle! And once you enter that author name, Amazon will add it to the list of other works by that author: sort of automatically, like computers do.
Books are listed, legitimately, all the time by people who aren't the author: publishers, for a start - and you, yes YOU reading this, can legit list books you didn't write just because the author is your buddy and "you know all about that computer stuff and, what did you call it, Print On Demand".
Equally legit, I can use my Amazon account and flog off the contents of my bookshelves: mostly " Used, V. Good" but plenty of "New" with the wrapping intact. Amazon isn't going to check those listings - my fault if they are wrong.
Not excusing the crap behaviour of whoever created the books mentioned in the article, but you have to be realistic about what Amazon - or any shop - is going to do.
"Do you think you would have any luck getting such a book onto the shelves of Waterstones/Barnes & Noble?"
Onto their bricks and mortar store shelves: of course not. Those shelves are actually managed, by the local manager (with a good dose of head office dropping heavy hints about sticking the latest hotness).
But that isn't terribly relevant - you are trying to compare apples and oranges.
Will Waterstones order in one of those books for me? Yes, absolutely; so long as it has an ISBN they can look up. If a dozen or more people decide to prank the local manager and place such orders, another copy or two will show up the shelves (and end up in a red box within 12 months). One of the joys of real old bookshops (Waterstones is a bit too much of a chain not to clean out its shelves completely) was finding the odd thing that had been lurking for a while.
Will you have any luck getting such a onto the shelves of The Works? Yup. You already see similar books there.
Will you see them on sale at a book market? Yes, if the seller thinks it is worth the fee to set out their table (and this is the closest I know - others may know better - to the Amazon third-party listings).
Were you referring to the contents of my shelves? No, because Waterstones don't do second-hand at all.
Where does he find the time? Not even Reg scribes are that fast!
You know what to do when normal rational reasoning fails for describe the desired outcome? The definite answer is always aliens. That is the only rational approach when everything else fails.
Therefore, if El Reg scribes want to beat ML/AI scribes, then you should adopt aliens. You are sure to improve on fast and will find the time. Aliens always have time and FTL.
But so did the early printing press, it wasn't all bibles and philosophical tracts that they churned out. Soon, all sorts of nonsense was available, lapped up by a public with an insatiable appetite for amusement, often just as cheap single printed sheets. And then, the church and governments started to crack down on it, but never totally could eradicate the supply or demand.........
Almost any contemporary debate on freedom to publish, vs censorship to reduce harm can be found happening hundreds of years ago in the history of publishing.
perhaps some of the geekiest geeks amongst us, would dare to open their sheltered minds to this...https://www.directedenergyweapons.net/p/patents.html
Directed Energy Weapon and Electronic Warfare Relevant Patents:[...]
Oh Look…Just Like California: Another “Climate Change” Related Swarm of Sudden Fires in Maui
Gregory Lessing Garrett 8/11/2023
...Funny How The Maui Fires Targetd Cars Made of Relatively Fireproof Metals
But Left So Many Trees Untouched?
What Could Do That to a Car? Oh That’s Right…Lasers!!!
Directed Energy Weapons Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You!
U.S. Air Force Testing Lasers on Fighter Jets: vid...https://divadrops.substack.com/p/maui-the-latest-in-the-line-of-fire?u
Some are saying - Bezos and Oprah Are Teaming Up To Buy Out All Lahaina Property Owners. "They want to recreate the island in their own way." Another Epstein Island? Kinda MAPPY, don’t you think? Oprah already owns 2,000 acres there. So, write off for loss, which frees up capital to buy more with FEMA funds and assistance. This is how rich people get …
Were DEW “Laser Planes” Used To Start The Fires In Maui? (Videos)
We have pointed out in numerous reports how the federal government and even local government has worked to impeded people from saving their properties not only in Maui, but in California and other places during man-made fires and disasters. Now, it’s becoming even more evident with the use of cameras to detect that our government is starting these fires with the use of directed energy weapons. All the evidence is pointing to that being the culprit, and thus criminal in nature, of the fires in Maui.
Mac Slavo reported on directed energy weapon “laser planes” being used to start the Maui fires.
How many are too many coincidences? There are several theories that the fires in Maui started too quickly and burned so effectively that there’s no way it was a simply wildfire.
Videos have been circulating online showing strikes coming from the sky and eyewitness accounts from Maui residents are backing up those videos. It appears that the general consensus is that the deadly wildfires that spread through Maui were not natural disasters, but rather, deliberate acts using a Direct Energy Weapon or DEW.
These strange videos along with other “coincidences” have been causing the public to question the official narrative the ruling class is cramming down our throats...
surely, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition / human-generated comment?! Amazongpt, generate the shortest possible reply to any media requests for comments on any subject to make sure they don't overload our servers with follow-up e-mails. In two words, exclude expletives.
Sorry, how is that snide?
Is it software? - tick.
Did the methods used come out of work on Machine Learning? - tick.
Has ML given us useful stuff? - tick.
So these chatbots are dreadful - how does that reduce the phrase to snidery?
"Huh huh, that is just a 3D rendered game", he said snidely. Does that make sense, because what - there are some junk 3D games, or the ones that happen to be in the public eye today are junk?
> I dispute the term "machine learning"
The phrase "machine learning" just comes from the branch of CompSci that is looking into whether machines can learn, and if so, how. The mechanisms used in the current crop of annoying software come from the work of those groups - the same way that "machine vision" algorithms come from research groups looking into whether machines can be given vision.
Machine learning is a valid field: systems have been produced that start with nothing other than randomness and the learn how to do something concrete that wasn't directly programmed. For example, insectile robots (lots of legs rather than wheels) figuring out how to order servo signals to achieve useful motion - and then adapting by generating new gaits for a change in landscape - or someone pulling off a leg or two!
Whether or not any specific programs using those algorithms actually manage to achieve learning, or vision, is another matter entirely.
> I believe it would be more appropriate to use the phrase "Pattern Matching Software"
Not quite - they are looking to *find* the patterns in the first place (during the training phase) and, having found them, they run through the pattern filling in the slots, generating their output.
If you have, say, a pattern which is a simple grammar for English statements (the sort of thing we were taught in school) you can use it to either recognise ("Read the following and identify the verb and any adjectives") or you can use it to generate ("Create your own sentence by filling in the placeholders with a verb and two nouns").
There is (probably) some pattern matching going on when the LLM is reading your prompt, but all the fun stuff (what makes it interesting enough to be reported on in Register articles) comes from what it is doing on the generation side.
Another interesting place where Amazon is selling AI-generated books is apparently guides to mushroom foraging. People who have looked into this suggest that some of them contain advice that is likely to get people killed.
It will be interesting to see who is considered liable when this happens.
That's not a book, <glances sideways at Lord Of The Rings> THAT is book!
Credit. The thinking mans Crocidile Dundee.
44 pages is barely a book, more a pamphlet. The book about the book, at 14 pages IS just a pamphlet.
Not so many years ago, publishing a pamphlet was a thing, because the authors and publishers knew what they had was an idea with some fleshing out, but in no way could be considered a book. I doubt there was ever a specific definition of the difference between a book and a pamphlet, but I suspect both this "book" and the "book about the book" are not books by any normal definition.
> . I doubt there was ever a specific definition of the difference between a book and a pamphlet
Well, according to UNESCO definitions:
a. A book is a non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages, exclusive of the cover pages, published in the country and made available to the public;
b. A pamphlet is a non-periodical printed publication of at least 5 but not more than 48 pages, exclusive of the cover pages, published in a particular country and made available to the public;
Yours, etc, someone sad enough to have looked up this sort of thing (and who was frustrated that they didn't give a size for a quire and settle that argument! 25 sheets? How can it be 25 when you are folding, binding then splitting; it has to be a power of 2! Exits, muttering).