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Authors and Sellers Swing Into Action as AI-Generated Fake Books Hit the Stands

Beware Before Purchasing Books Online as They May Be AI-Generated or Fake. Explore How Savannah’s Book Fell Prey to the Scam
 Savannah Guthrie attends the "Mostly What God Does" book presentation on February 21, 2024 in New York City.|Getty Images|Photo by Jamie McCarthy
Savannah Guthrie attends the "Mostly What God Does" book presentation on February 21, 2024 in New York City.|Getty Images|Photo by Jamie McCarthy

The use of AI tools such as ChatGPT has enabled people to churn out everything from essays to academic papers, but the convenience it offers has also started overshadowing creativity and originality. In recent times, media organizations have been plagued by scandals where journalists were caught using ChatGPT to craft articles. Recently, American journalist turned-author Savannah Guthrie fell victim to a scam, when AI was used to create fake copies of her book Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere.' The author took to her Instagram and shared a post so that her lovable readers are aware of the scam and do not buy the fake AI-generated books circulating online. 

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A post shared by Savannah Guthrie (@savannahguthrie)


When she saw fake books on the platform with the author's name being Savana Gathrie which was a clear misspelling of her name, she was stunned. Such a scandal also affected another author Lisa Sun who after the launch of her book 'Gravitas' found several workbooks just below her original one. Later that time, she got a call from her friend saying ‘I’m so excited to read your book, and I bought the workbook’ to which Lisa immediately told the caller to cancel the order, as she hadn't written the book. Jane Friedman the author of three books was astonished when she saw six more books being publicized on Amazon under her name. All these authors immediately contacted Amazon and asked them to take down these books from the platform as they were fakes.


Friedman further said that it has become easy to duplicate and produce new things with AI. Amazon took down the fake books and in a statement mentioned that, "We both prevent books from being listed as well as remove books that do not adhere to our guidelines, including content that creates a poor customer experience." Amazon and writers are working to reduce the selling of these fake books by creating awareness and taking necessary steps. But there are some steps that the buyers also need to take so that the AI-generated copies or the scammers can not gain any profit from them. Here are some of them that the viewers can follow:

1. Be proactive while browsing on Amazon for anything be it books or any other product.

2. Don't hold Amazon and the publication responsible for everything. Do several layers of checks which include spelling, publication house, etc.

3. To validate any product, it is crucial that the customers check for verified reviews and ratings.

4. Just in case, you purchase a fake book, return it immediately and report the purchase as Amazon always provides that leverage to its valuable customers.

5. Remember one thing a fake book will never have that many reviews as compared to the actual one. 


As both authors and readers are now plagued by AI-generated scams, companies are actively taking measures to curb them. Authors Guild has even sued OpenAI and Microsoft for licensing their content and giving credits to the actual writer and not publishing in the company's name.