The Queen of Romance in AI

PG promises this is the last of today’s AI writing posts.

Prompt: Provide a fictional plot outline in Danielle Steel’s style and themes.


Title: “Shadows of Yesterday”

Plot Outline:

  1. Setting and Introduction:
    • The story unfolds in modern-day New York City.
    • Introduce the protagonist, Isabella, a young, ambitious, and successful magazine editor facing personal and professional challenges.
  2. Isabella’s Background:
    • Isabella comes from a wealthy, but emotionally distant family.
    • Flashbacks reveal her struggles with her demanding and critical mother, shaping her relentless drive for perfection.
  3. Career Challenges:
    • Isabella is up for a major promotion, but faces stiff competition and workplace politics.
    • Her professional life is a whirlwind of high-profile events, glamorous parties, and celebrity interviews, masking her inner turmoil.
  4. Romantic Entanglements:
    • Isabella’s love life is complicated, caught between a comfortable but unexciting relationship with a longtime friend and a passionate, unpredictable affair with a charismatic entrepreneur.
  5. Family Crisis:
    • A sudden family tragedy forces Isabella to reevaluate her life choices.
    • She returns home to confront unresolved issues with her family, particularly her mother.
  6. Self-Discovery and Growth:
    • Through these trials, Isabella embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
    • She begins to understand the importance of balance in life and starts to question her relentless pursuit of success.
  7. New Love Interest:
    • Amidst her personal growth, Isabella meets a new love interest – someone who challenges her perspectives and offers a more authentic and supportive relationship.
  8. Climactic Decision:
    • Faced with a pivotal career decision, Isabella must choose between her lifelong ambition and a chance at genuine happiness.
    • This decision is complicated by a surprise revelation related to her family’s past.
  9. Resolution:
    • Isabella makes a bold decision that prioritizes her personal happiness and true self over societal expectations.
    • The story concludes with her embarking on a new path, finding a balance between her career ambitions and personal life.
  10. Themes:
    • The narrative weaves through themes of self-discovery, the complexity of family dynamics, the pursuit of success, and the search for love and personal fulfillment.
    • It highlights the often difficult choices women face in balancing career, family, and romance.

This fictional outline is inspired by Danielle Steel’s style, known for her emotionally rich stories that explore family, relationships, and personal growth set against the backdrop of contemporary life. The plot combines elements of romance, drama, and self-discovery, typical of Steel’s bestselling novels

End of ChatGPT4

Since PG is not an expert on the works of Ms. Steel, he’ll leave comments on the accuracy of the plot outline to those who are.

For PG, this series of “Provide a fictional plot outline in (well-known author’s) style and themes” AI experiments is the first indication that AI might be a potentially-useful tool for authors.

It strikes him that AI might be helpful for beginning authors writing in various genres. PG checked the Romance Writers of America website and this is part of what he found:

The Basics

Romance fiction is smart, fresh and diverse. Whether you enjoy contemporary dialogue, historical settings, mystery, thrillers or any number of other themes, there’s a romance novel waiting for you!


Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. 

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as they want as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love. 

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction. 

The same types of expected elements can be found in all the genre fiction that floats into PG’s mind – fantasy, sci-fi, YA, horror, mysteries, etc. His is impression from his personal AI experiments is that one of the things AI can do is generate some interesting ideas for rules-based subjects.

Hemingway Revived

After his AI experience with Zadie Smith, PG decided to try something similar with a dead author.

Prompt: Provide a fictional plot outline in Ernest Hemingway’s style and themes.

ChatGPT4 Response:

Title: “The Unyielding Current”

Plot Outline:

  1. Setting and Introduction:

    • The story is set in the mid-20th century, primarily in a small fishing village on the coast of Cuba.
    • Introduce the protagonist, Santiago, an aging and experienced fisherman, stoic and introspective.
  2. Santiago’s Struggle:

    • Santiago has been experiencing a prolonged streak of bad luck, having not caught a significant fish for weeks.
    • This struggle is a point of gossip among the villagers, though Santiago remains determined and uncomplaining.
  3. Man vs. Nature:

    • Santiago embarks on a fishing trip alone, determined to break his unlucky streak.
    • He ventures farther out to sea than usual, showcasing his knowledge and respect for the ocean.
  4. The Great Marlin:

    • Santiago hooks a massive marlin, beginning a multi-day struggle between man and nature.
    • This battle is not just physical but also a mental and existential one, reflecting Santiago’s deep contemplation of life and his place in the world.
  5. Santiago’s Reflections:

    • As the struggle with the marlin continues, Santiago reflects on his past, his triumphs and losses, and the nature of existence.
    • Themes of solitude, heroism, and the relentless passage of time are explored.
  6. The Turning Point:

    • After an arduous battle, Santiago finally reels in the marlin, a symbol of his personal victory against the odds.
    • However, his triumph is short-lived as sharks are attracted to the marlin’s blood.
  7. The Final Battle:

    • Santiago fights the sharks with all his might, but they devour the marlin, leaving only its skeleton.
    • This battle symbolizes the inevitable nature of loss and defeat, regardless of one’s strength or will.
  8. Return and Resolution:

    • Santiago returns to the village, exhausted and defeated, yet there’s a subtle sense of triumph in his resilience.
    • The villagers, who once doubted him, now look upon him with a newfound respect.
  9. Themes:

    • The story embodies Hemingway’s distinctive themes: the dignity found in human struggle, the relationship between man and nature, and the inevitability of death.
    • It also reflects Hemingway’s style of straightforward prose and his iceberg theory of omission.

This fictional outline is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s narrative style and thematic focus, reminiscent of his celebrated work “The Old Man and the Sea”. It incorporates his characteristic exploration of themes such as strength, resilience, and the unyielding challenge of nature, all presented in a simple, yet profound narrative style.

End of ChatGPT4 Response

Law firms are throwing legal spaghetti at the wall to take down gen-AI, but judges are so far unimpressed

From The New Publishing Standard:

Law suits against AI companies abound, and no question there are some valid issues that need settling in court, but already it’s beginning to feel like lawyers are just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping some strands stick.
Is this really what the publishing industry wants or needs?

Over at Publishers Weekly this week, Andrew Albanese summarises two on-going law suits against the alleged AI copyright thieves, and in both cases a judge has thrown out parts of the claims because they have no merit.

While the judge in one case has left the door open for revised claims – perhaps a nod to the fact that the law as stands was never written with AI in mind – the quick dismissal of some of the claims is a severe blow to the many in the AI Resistance camp who are citing as fact allegations of copyright theft, despite, as Albanese notes, many lawyers stating well in advance that the claims were not well-grounded in law.

From PW back in July:

Multiple copyright lawyers told PW on background that the claims likely face an uphill battle in court. Even if the suits get past the threshold issues associated with the alleged copying at issue and how AI training actually works—which is no sure thing—lawyers say there is ample case law to suggest fair use.”

PW offers several examples of why, that in the interests of the fair use clause I’ll leave to you to click through and read, and instead conclude the summary of that PW article with this quote:

 ‘I just don’t see how these cases have legs,’ one copyright lawyer bluntly told PW. ‘Look, I get it. Somebody has to make a test case. Otherwise there’s nothing but blogging and opinion pieces and stance-taking by proponents on either side. But I just think there’s too much established case law to support this kind of transformative use as a fair use.’ “

The July lawsuit came under scrutiny from TNPS at the time.

. . . .

The proposed class action suit before Chhabria was filed on July 7 by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on behalf of authors Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey, and comedian Sarah Silverman, just days after the Saveri firm filed a similar suit on behalf of authors against Open AI, with authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad as named plaintiffs.”

. . . .

In each case the law suits make the spurious claim that AI is generating writing in the style of an author or providing in-depth analysis of a published book, and that it does so by illegally copying an original work for its “training.”

For anyone who isn’t irrationally opposed to the very concept of AI and therefore clutching at any straw to attack it, the idea that it is a crime for an author to write in the style of another is as laughable as the idea that an author who learned their trade by reading other authors’ books has committed a crime.

What next? A lawsuit claiming an author has no spelling mistakes so they must have plagiarised a dictionary?

Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard

Raskolnikov Updated


Provide a detailed character sketch of Rodion Raskolnikov updated for 2023

From GPT4:

Updating the character of Rodion Raskolnikov from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” for a 2023 context involves reimagining his background, motivations, and conflicts to resonate with contemporary themes and issues. Here’s a detailed character sketch for a modern-day Raskolnikov:

Name: Rodion “Rodya” Raskolnikov


  • Age: Late 20s.
  • Education: A brilliant former student of psychology, who dropped out of a prestigious university due to financial constraints and disillusionment with the academic system.
  • Family: Comes from a lower-middle-class family. His mother is a school teacher, and he has a younger sister who is struggling to find her footing in a competitive job market.
  • Location: Lives in a modest apartment in a large, culturally diverse city.

Personality Traits

  • Intellectually Gifted: Possesses a sharp intellect and often engages in philosophical musings about society and morality.
  • Isolated: Tends to isolate himself from others, preferring his own company and thoughts.
  • Altruistic Yet Egotistical: Displays moments of genuine compassion, especially towards his family, but is also deeply egocentric, believing himself to be morally and intellectually superior.
  • Anxious and Paranoid: Exhibits signs of anxiety and paranoia, particularly after committing his crime.

Modern Adaptation

  • Occupation: Works part-time in a mundane job, possibly in data entry or as a delivery driver, which he finds unfulfilling. In his spare time, he writes blogs and essays on social and ethical issues.
  • Financial Struggles: His financial difficulties are a significant source of stress, driving him to question the social structures and disparities in wealth and power.
  • Crime: Raskolnikov’s crime in 2023 could involve hacking into a corrupt corporation’s system or committing a cybercrime against a morally dubious business tycoon, believing his actions are justified to expose or dismantle corrupt power structures.
  • Mental Health: Struggles with his mental health, experiencing guilt and internal conflict post-crime, which leads him into a psychological downward spiral.


  • Family: Feels a deep sense of responsibility and guilt over his inability to financially support his mother and sister.
  • Friends: Has few close friends but maintains some online connections with individuals who share his ideological views.
  • Romantic Interest: Could have a complicated relationship with a character akin to Sonya, who in this adaptation might be a social worker or counselor, representing empathy and moral clarity.


  • Internal: Grapples with guilt, moral justification of his actions, and a sense of isolation from society.
  • External: Faces the consequences of his crime in the digital age, dealing with law enforcement and the societal fallout of his actions.


  • Journey: Raskolnikov’s journey involves confronting the reality of his actions, grappling with the moral and ethical implications, and ultimately seeking redemption.
  • Resolution: His resolution could involve turning himself in and accepting the legal consequences of his actions, symbolizing his acceptance of societal laws and moral boundaries.

In this 2023 adaptation, Raskolnikov is a complex character who embodies the struggles of modern society, including financial instability, the ethical dilemmas posed by technology, and the quest for moral grounding in an increasingly complex world. His story reflects contemporary issues of social justice, mental health, and the search for meaning in a digital age.

End of GPT4

As he reviewed the AI’s response, PG had to admit that his detailed recollection of Raskolnikov’s character traits had faded into the mists of time.

He’ll need to rely on the colorfast recollections of visitors to TPV to assess how GPT4 did with this challenge. He understands several movies based on the novel have been released, but hasn’t seen any of those either, so his mind is tabula rasa on the plot.

Gone with the Wind – 2023

Prompt: Prepare a detailed outline of an adaptation of Gone with the Wind set in 2023

From ChatGPT4:

Adapting “Gone with the Wind” to a contemporary setting of 2023 requires thoughtful reimagining while maintaining the essence of the original story. Here’s a detailed outline for such an adaptation:

Title: “Gone with the Wind: 2023”


  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, and surrounding areas, with a modern urban and suburban backdrop.
  • Time: Present day, focusing on the social, economic, and political dynamics of 2023.


  • Scarlett O’Hara: A young, ambitious entrepreneur in the tech industry, known for her beauty, intelligence, and relentless drive.
  • Rhett Butler: A charismatic venture capitalist with a mysterious past and a knack for risk-taking in both business and personal life.
  • Ashley Wilkes: An idealistic environmental activist and Scarlett’s long-time crush, who struggles to balance his ideals with practicality.
  • Melanie Hamilton: A compassionate, understanding social worker, married to Ashley, and a close friend to Scarlett.

Plot Overview

  1. Introduction:
    • Scarlett’s World: Introduce Scarlett’s life in modern Atlanta, her tech startup, and her unrequited love for Ashley.
    • Social Context: Touch on contemporary issues such as climate change, economic inequality, and technological advancements.
  2. Rising Tensions:
    • Business and Romance: Scarlett’s company faces financial difficulties. She meets Rhett at a fundraising event, sparking a complicated relationship.
    • Ashley’s Dilemma: Ashley is torn between his environmental activism and the pressures to conform to a more traditional career path.
  3. Climax:
    • Business Crisis: Scarlett’s company is on the brink of collapse. She turns to Rhett for help, leading to a controversial business deal.
    • Romantic Conflicts: Scarlett’s feelings for Ashley resurface, causing tension with Rhett and Melanie.
  4. Falling Action:
    • Personal Growth: Scarlett starts to realize the importance of balancing ambition with ethics and compassion.
    • Relationship Strains: Rhett feels neglected by Scarlett’s obsession with Ashley and her career.
  5. Conclusion:
    • Resolution: Scarlett makes a significant decision about her professional and personal life, choosing her own path over her longstanding pursuit of Ashley.
    • Rhett’s Departure: Rhett decides to leave Scarlett, leading to her famous realization of self-reliance and determination to rebuild her life.


  • Modern Feminism: Exploration of a woman’s role in a high-powered, male-dominated business world.
  • Technology vs. Environment: The clash between technological advancement and environmental conservation.
  • Personal vs. Professional Life: The struggle to maintain personal relationships while pursuing ambitious career goals.
  • Adaptation and Resilience: How characters adapt to the rapidly changing world around them.

Visual Style

  • Cinematography: A mix of sleek, modern cityscapes and lush, natural landscapes to contrast the worlds of technology and environmentalism.
  • Costume Design: Contemporary fashion, reflecting the status and personalities of characters in a modern setting.


  • A blend of modern and classical music, capturing the emotional depth and complexities of the story in a contemporary context.

This adaptation maintains the core narrative of “Gone with the Wind” while updating its setting and themes to reflect modern societal and cultural issues.

End of ChatGPT4

PG will allow visitors to determine if the outline shows a useful amount of creativity or not.

If he had tasked himself to produce a similar document, PG admits he would not have considered the Soundtrack.

Sarah Silverman Hits Stumbling Block in AI Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Meta

From The Hollywood Reporter:

A federal judge has dismissed most of Sarah Silverman‘s lawsuit against Meta over the unauthorized use of authors’ copyrighted books to train its generative artificial intelligence model, marking the second ruling from a court siding with AI firms on novel intellectual property questions presented in the legal battle.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria on Monday offered a full-throated denial of one of the authors’ core theories that Meta’s AI system is itself an infringing derivative work made possible only by information extracted from copyrighted material. “This is nonsensical,” he wrote in the order. “There is no way to understand the LLaMA models themselves as a recasting or adaptation of any of the plaintiffs’ books.”

Another of Silverman’s arguments that every result produced by Meta’s AI tools constitutes copyright infringement was dismissed because she didn’t offer evidence that any of the outputs “could be understood as recasting, transforming, or adapting the plaintiffs’ books.” Chhabria gave her lawyers a chance to replead the claim, along with five others that weren’t allowed to advance.

Notably, Meta didn’t move to dismiss the allegation that the copying of books for purposes of training its AI model rises to the level of copyright infringement.

The ruling builds upon findings from another federal judge overseeing a lawsuit from artists suing AI art generators over the use of billions of images downloaded from the Internet as training data. In that case, U.S. District Judge William Orrick similarly delivered a blow to fundamental contentions in the lawsuit by questioning whether artists can substantiate copyright infringement in the absence of identical material created by the AI tools. He called the allegations “defective in numerous respects.”

Some of the issues presented in the litigation could decide whether creators are compensated for the use of their material to train human-mimicking chatbots that have the potential to undercut their labor. AI companies maintain that they don’t have to secure licenses because they’re protected by the fair use defense to copyright infringement.

According to the complaint filed in July, Meta’s AI model “copies each piece of text in the training dataset” and then “progressively adjusts its output to more closely resemble” expression extracted from the training dataset. The lawsuit revolved around the claim that the entire purpose of LLaMA is to imitate copyrighted expression and that the entire model should be considered an infringing derivative work.

But Chhabria called the argument “not viable” in the absence of allegations or evidence suggesting that LLaMA, short for Large Language Model Meta AI, has been “recast, transformed, or adapted” based on a preexisting, copyrighted work.

Another of Silverman’s main theories — along with other creators suing AI firms – was that every output produced by AI models are infringing derivatives, with the companies benefiting from every answer initiated by third-party users allegedly constituting an act of vicarious infringement. The judge concluded that her lawyers, who also represent the artists suing StabilityAI, DeviantArt and Midjourney, are “wrong to say that”  — because their books were duplicated in full as part of the LLaMA training process — evidence of substantially similar outputs isn’t necessary.

Link to the rest at The Hollywood Reporter

Stability AI exec leaves amid concerns over ‘fair use’ disagreement with $101m startup

From Yahoo Finance – UK:

A top exec at a British artificial intelligence (AI) startup has resigned because he is opposed to the company’s method of using copyrighted work to train its model without payment or permission from the owner.

Stability AI head of audio, Ed Newton-Rex said in a lengthy post on X he is stepping down because he disagrees “with the company’s opinion that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use’”.

The London-headquartered startup uses generative AI to create text, images, music and video from descriptive prompts typed in by a human.

However, it has sparked controversy because it sweeps data indiscriminately to train its open-source model.

Newton-Rex, who says he is also a music composer, continued: “For those unfamiliar with ‘fair use’, this claims that training an AI model on copyrighted works doesn’t infringe the copyright in those works, so it can be done without permission, and without payment.

“This is a position that is fairly standard across many of the large generative AI companies, and other big tech companies building these models — it’s far from a view that is unique to Stability. But it’s a position I disagree with.”

He is not the only one to disagree. Getty Images has accused Stable Diffusion, a generative AI model developed by Stability AI, of unlawfully scraping over 12m images owned by Getty to train its models.

The media company has asked Delaware’s federal court to order Stability to stop using its pictures and wants what could amount to $1.8 trillion in damages, according to Fortune.

Stability AI is the brainchild of Oxford graduate Emad Mostaque and has raised $101m (£82.3m) in a funding round led by Coatue, Lightspeed Venture Partners and O’Shaughnessy Asset Management.

In reply to Newton-Rex on X, Mostaque wrote: “Was great working with you & this is an important discussion. The considered input we gave to the Copyright Office on why we believe fair use supports creative development is here.“

Link to the rest at Yahoo Finance – UK

Google Arts & Culture

PG discovered the Google Arts & Culture site earlier this morning. It’s quite an extensive site and a definite threat to suck away a lot of time, but is nicely-done.

One of the site’s interesting features is listed as experimental. It’s called Poem Postcards. This location allows you to select a postcard based upon a classic painting, then use an AI to write a poem about it, then email the painting/poem to a friend.

Here’s a link to a poem postcard PG just created.

What are the best ways for an author to use AI to write a book?

From ChatGPT:

Prompt: What are the best ways for an author to use AI to write a book?

ChatGPT Response:

Incorporating AI into the book writing process can be a great asset for an author. Here are some of the best ways to use AI in this creative endeavor:

  1. Idea and Concept Generation: AI can help brainstorm ideas for your book, including themes, plot elements, character concepts, and settings. Feeding the AI specific genres or themes can yield creative and unexpected suggestions, which can inspire or enhance your own ideas.
  2. Outline and Structure Development: AI can assist in structuring your book. By providing a basic plot or concept, AI can suggest a detailed outline, helping to organize the narrative flow and ensuring a cohesive structure for your story.
  3. Character Development and Dialogue: AI can generate character profiles, including backstories, traits, and motivations, based on initial inputs. It can also suggest dialogue, offering different styles and tones to match the characters and situations.
  4. Writing and Editing Assistance: AI can be used for drafting certain sections or chapters. You can provide a brief and let the AI generate a draft, which you can then refine. AI tools are also helpful for grammar checking, style improvement, and suggesting alternative phrasings.
  5. Research Support: For books requiring extensive research, AI can quickly sift through large volumes of data to find relevant information, saving time and ensuring accuracy.
  6. Genre-Specific Assistance: Depending on the genre of your book, AI can provide genre-specific assistance. For instance, in science fiction, it can generate futuristic technology or alien species; for historical fiction, it can provide historical details and context.
  7. Feedback and Revision: Some AI tools can analyze your writing and provide feedback on aspects like pacing, tension, and character development. This can be particularly useful during revisions.
  8. Interactive Elements: For more experimental authors, AI can help create interactive or branching narratives, particularly for digital formats where readers choose different paths through the story.
  9. Title and Blurb Creation: Coming up with a compelling title and blurb can be challenging; AI can generate multiple options based on your book’s content and themes.
  10. Market Research and Publishing Strategy: AI can analyze market trends and reader preferences, helping you position your book effectively in the market.

While AI can greatly assist in the book writing process, it’s important to remember that it serves as a tool to augment the author’s creativity and vision, not replace it. The unique voice, perspective, and imagination of the author remain irreplaceable in crafting a compelling and meaningful story.

AI Prompt/Response of the Day


In a time when information is instantly available and content creation is a few clicks away, academic integrity can easily become a gray area for students. Explicitly teaching skills and concepts associated with academic integrity and providing feedback throughout the research and writing process can build a culture of academic honesty in classrooms.

ChatGPT Response:

You’re absolutely right. In the digital age, where information is abundant and easily accessible, maintaining academic integrity has become both more challenging and crucial. Here are some strategies educators can employ to foster a culture of academic honesty:

  1. Educate About Academic Integrity: Clearly define what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty. Ensure students understand the importance of citing sources and the proper ways to do so.
  2. Use Technology Wisely: Employ plagiarism detection software to check student work. This not only helps in identifying potential issues but also acts as a deterrent against dishonest practices.
  3. Encourage Original Thought: Design assignments and assessments in a way that encourages students to think independently and apply their understanding, rather than just repeating information found online.
  4. Provide Resources for Research and Citation: Offer students access to resources on how to conduct research ethically and cite sources correctly. This could be through workshops, guides, or online tools.
  5. Model Academic Integrity: Teachers and faculty should lead by example, demonstrating integrity in their own work and interactions.
  6. Create a Supportive Environment: Build a classroom culture where students feel comfortable asking for help and understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process. This can reduce the pressure to achieve perfection through dishonest means.
  7. Personalize Learning: Tailor assignments to individual student interests where possible. Personal connection to a topic can motivate students to engage deeply and honestly with the material.
  8. Frequent Feedback and Drafts: Incorporate multiple stages of feedback and revision in assignments. This process helps students improve their work and understand the value of iterative learning, reducing the temptation to submit dishonest work.
  9. Discuss the Consequences: Make students aware of the academic and professional consequences of academic dishonesty. Understanding the long-term impact can discourage them from taking such risks.
  10. Collaborative Learning: Encourage group work and peer reviews. Collaboration can build a community of learning and integrity among students.

By integrating these strategies, educators can help create an academic environment where integrity is understood, valued, and practiced.

‘It is a beast that needs to be tamed’: leading novelists on how AI could rewrite the future

From The Guardian:

Bernardine Evaristo

ChatGPT seems to have blindsided us all. In less than a year it has proved that it can make writers redundant, which is one of the reasons why the Writers Guild of America recently went on strike, and why a group of novelists, including Jonathan Franzen, Jodi Picoult and George RR Martin, are pursuing a lawsuit against OpenAI, the company that owns the chatbot. The worry is that its monster brain is rapaciously, unscrupulously scanning the internet and suctioning up all the knowledge and writing contained therein, including copyrighted works, which it then metamorphoses into its imitations of creative writing – poems, novels, scripts, essays, you name it. Imitation that appears to be original writing.

From my experiments, it’s obvious that ChatGPT’s current level of literary sophistication is weak – it is cliche-prone and generally unconvincing – but who knows how it will develop? Copyright issues aside, we have to ask ourselves: what will be lost when algorithms replace human creativity?

Writers like stretching our imaginations, coming up with ideas, working out storylines and plots, creating believable characters, overcoming creative challenges and working on a full-length piece of work over an extended period of time. Most of us write our books ourselves and while we are influenced by other writers, we’re not a chatbot that has been trained on hundreds of thousands of novels for the sole purpose of mimicking human creativity.

Imagine a future where those who are most adept at getting AI to write creatively will dominate, while we writers who spend a lifetime devoted to our craft are sidelined. OK, this is a worst‑case scenario, but we have to consider it, because ChatGPT and the other Large Language Models (LLMs) out there have been programmed to imagine a future that threatens many creative professions. ChatGPT is already responding to the questions I ask it in seconds, quite reliably. It is an impressive beast, but one that needs to be tamed. We cannot afford to ignore it.

Jeanette Winterson

In my book of essays about life with AI – moving from Mary Shelley’s 1818 vision of a man-made humanoid to the possibilities of the metaverse – I describe AI not as artificial intelligence but alternative intelligence.

I am not thrilled with where Homo sapiens has landed us, and I believe we are at the point where we evolve or wipe out ourselves, and the planet. There is no reason to believe that the last 300,000 years mark us out as a species that is fully evolved. Our behaviour suggests the opposite. I would like to see a transhuman, eventually a post-human, future where intelligence and consciousness are no longer exclusively housed in a substrate made of meat. After all, that has been the promise of every world religion.

I was brought up in a strict religious household, and it intrigues me that for the first time since the Enlightenment, science and religion are asking the same question: is consciousness obliged to materiality? Religion has always said no. Scientific materialism has said yes. And now? It’s getting interesting.

As a fiction writer, I know we should avoid apocalyptic thinking. The way we live is not a law, like gravity; it is propositional. We make it up as we go along. We can change the story because we are the story. This is freedom. It is also responsibility. What story shall we tell about who humans are? Warlike, violent, dishonest, wasteful? That’s part of us, certainly. It’s not the whole story – and I don’t want it to be the story that ends life on Earth. The last thing I am worrying about right now is whether AI will write better fiction than humans. I don’t care.

I would love to work with AI on a piece of fiction. We could share the royalties, and the AI money could fund more women to get involved in AI research and application. The real problem is not that AI is writing, or will write, or can write. The problem is who is writing the AI programs and designing the algorithms. Who is setting the terms of the research? Who is deciding what matters? Mainly men. That’s a problem because the world is not made up of mainly men.

For centuries men wrote our literature, our history, our travelogues, our philosophy. Virginia Woolf was not on the curriculum for my Oxford degree because she was not deemed to be of sufficient merit.

The great thing about AI is that it need not be gendered – why should it be? It has no biological sex. This could be the start of a true non-binary, non race-based, faith-wars-irrelevant world, where we humans could realise how trivial are our divisions and discriminations. At present, AI is a tool. I doubt that will always be the case. An alternative intelligence will make art of all kinds – with us, and without us. I am ready for a different world.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

How AI could change computing, culture and the course of history

From The Economist:

Among the more sombre gifts brought by the Enlightenment was the realisation that humans might one day become extinct. The astronomical revolution of the 17th century had shown that the solar system both operated according to the highest principles of reason and contained comets which might conceivably hit the Earth. The geological record, as interpreted by the Comte de Buffon, showed massive extinctions in which species vanished for ever. That set the scene for Charles Darwin to recognise such extinctions as the motor of evolution, and thus as both the force which had fashioned humans and, by implication, their possible destiny. The nascent science of thermodynamics added a cosmic dimension to the certainty of an ending; Sun, Earth and the whole shebang would eventually run down into a lifeless “heat death”.

The 20th century added the idea that extinction might not come about naturally, but through artifice. The spur for this was the discovery, and later exploitation, of the power locked up in atomic nuclei. Celebrated by some of its discoverers as a way of indefinitely deferring heat death, nuclear energy was soon developed into a far more proximate danger. And the tangible threat of imminent catastrophe which it posed rubbed off on other technologies.

None was more tainted than the computer. It may have been guilt by association: the computer played a vital role in the development of the nuclear arsenal. It may have been foreordained. The Enlightenment belief in rationality as humankind’s highest achievement and Darwin’s theory of evolution made the promise of superhuman rationality the possibility of evolutionary progress at humankind’s expense.

Artificial intelligence has come to loom large in the thought of the small but fascinating, and much written about, coterie of academics which has devoted itself to the consideration of existential risk over the past couple of decades. Indeed, it often appeared to be at the core of their concerns. A world which contained entities which think better and act quicker than humans and their institutions, and which had interests that were not aligned with those of humankind, would be a dangerous place.

It became common for people within and around the field to say that there was a “non-zero” chance of the development of superhuman ais leading to human extinction. The remarkable boom in the capabilities of large language models (llms), “foundational” models and related forms of “generative” ai has propelled these discussions of existential risk into the public imagination and the inboxes of ministers.

. . . .

But the lack of any “Minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic [drawing] their plans against us”, to quote H.G. Wells, does not mean that the scale of the changes that ai may bring with it can be ignored or should be minimised. There is much more to life than the avoidance of extinction. A technology need not be world-ending to be world-changing.

The transition into a world filled with computer programs capable of human levels of conversation and language comprehension and superhuman powers of data assimilation and pattern recognition has just begun. The coming of ubiquitous pseudocognition along these lines could be a turning point in history even if the current pace of ai progress slackens (which it might) or fundamental developments have been tapped out (which feels unlikely). It can be expected to have implications not just for how people earn their livings and organise their lives, but also for how they think about their humanity.

For a sense of what may be on the way, consider three possible analogues, or precursors: the browser, the printing press and practice of psychoanalysis. One changed computers and the economy, one changed how people gained access and related to knowledge, and one changed how people understood themselves.

The humble web browser, introduced in the early 1990s as a way to share files across networks, changed the ways in which computers are used, the way in which the computer industry works and the way information is organised. Combined with the ability to link computers into networks, the browser became a window through which first files and then applications could be accessed wherever they might be located. The interface through which a user interacted with an application was separated from the application itself.

The power of the browser was immediately obvious. Fights over how hard users could be pushed towards a particular browser became a matter of high commercial drama. Almost any business with a web address could get funding, no matter what absurdity it promised. When boom turned to bust at the turn of the century there was a predictable backlash. But the fundamental separation of interface and application continued. Amazon, Meta (née Facebook) and Alphabet (née Google) rose to giddy heights by making the browser a conduit for goods, information and human connections. Who made the browsers became incidental; their role as a platform became fundamental.

The months since the release of Openai’s Chatgpt, a conversational interface now powered by gpt-4, have seen an entrepreneurial explosion that makes the dotcom boom look sedate. For users, apps based on llms and similar software can be ludicrously easy to use; type a prompt and see a result. For developers it is not that much harder. “You can just open your laptop and write a few lines of code that interact with the model,” explains Ben Tossell, a British entrepreneur who publishes a newsletter about ai services.

And the llms are increasingly capable of helping with that coding, too. Having been “trained” not just on reams of text, but lots of code, they contain the building blocks of many possible programs; that lets them act as “co-pilots” for coders. Programmers on GitHub, an open-source coding site, are now using a gpt-4-based co-pilot to produce nearly half their code.

There is no reason why this ability should not eventually allow llms to put code together on the fly, explains Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s chief technology officer. The capacity to translate from one language to another includes, in principle and increasingly in practice, the ability to translate from language to code. A prompt written in English can in principle spur the production of a program that fulfils its requirements. Where browsers detached the user interface from the software application, llms are likely to dissolve both categories. This could mark a fundamental shift in both the way people use computers and the business models within which they do so.

Every day I write the book

Code-as-a-service sounds like a game-changing plus. A similarly creative approach to accounts of the world is a minus. While browsers mainly provided a window on content and code produced by humans, llms generate their content themselves. When doing so they “hallucinate” (or as some prefer “confabulate”) in various ways. Some hallucinations are simply nonsense. Some, such as the incorporation of fictitious misdeeds to biographical sketches of living people, are both plausible and harmful. The hallucinations can be generated by contradictions in training sets and by llms being designed to produce coherence rather than truth. They create things which look like things in their training sets; they have no sense of a world beyond the texts and images on which they are trained.

In many applications a tendency to spout plausible lies is a bug. For some it may prove a feature. Deep fakes and fabricated videos which traduce politicians are only the beginning. Expect the models to be used to set up malicious influence networks on demand, complete with fake websites, Twitter bots, Facebook pages, TikTok feeds and much more. The supply of disinformation, Renée DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory has warned, “will soon be infinite”.

Link to the rest at The Economist


PG watched a Grammarly for Business Webinar earlier today and was very impressed by what the company showed with respect to AI writing.

Per the demos, Grammarly has taken AI to a higher plane than PG has seen before. Features that impressed him were:

  • Analysis of the user’s writing voice to help Grammarly be more helpful in shaping future creations for a variety of purposes.
  • The ability to have Grammarly go through a document you or someone else has written, summarize it, and use it as a sort of electronic style guide in the future
  • The ability to assist in quick creation of documents for a wide variety of purposes, blog posts, text messages, emails, etc. In at least some uses, Grammarly will create the appropriate format for the written message, for example by creating and inserting bullet points from a longer text.

For the moment, it looks like the super AI will be limited to Grammarly for Business, which is an enterprise-scale program.

PG looked for an online link to a recorded version of the webinar but was unable to find it. If visitors to The Passive Voice can locate one, feel free to include a link in the comments to this post.

Did a computer write this? Book industry grapples with AI

From Today Online:

From low-quality computer-written books flooding the market to potential copyright violations, publishing is the latest industry to feel the threat from rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

Since the launch last year of ChatGPT, an easy-to-use AI chatbot that can deliver an essay upon request within seconds, there have been growing worries about the impact of generative AI on a range of sectors.

Among book industry players there is “a deep sense of insecurity”, said Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s biggest, where the topic was in focus last week.

They are asking, “What happens to authors’ intellectual property? Who does new content actually belong to? How do we bring this into value chains?” he said.

The threat is plain to see — AI writing programmes allow budding authors to produce in a matter of day novels that could in the past have taken months or years to write.

A flood of titles that list ChatGPT as a co-author has been offered for sale through Amazon’s e-book self-publishing unit.

Still, critics say the works are of low quality and sense little threat from AI for now.

British author Salman Rushdie told a press conference at the fair that recently someone asked an AI writing tool to produce 300 words in his style.

“And what came out was pure garbage,” said the Midnight’s Children writer, to laughter from the audience.

“Anybody who has ever read 300 words of mine would immediately recognise that it could not possibly be by me.””So far I’m not that alarmed,” he added, during a rare public appearance since a near-fatal stabbing attack last year in the United States.

Jennifer Becker, a German author and academic, echoed his sentiments, telling a panel discussion that the results when it comes to AI writing fiction “are still not that great”. 

“There is a lot of potential to use it — to use it collaboratively. 

“But I still don’t see the point where we really hand over the writing work to AI completely autonomously. That wouldn’t make for an interesting book.”

. . . .

Industry players stress however that in some areas there is more openness to dealing with artificial intelligence.

“It depends a bit on the genre,” said Susanne Barwick, deputy legal adviser of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, who has been in discussion about AI with publishers. 

“The field of science and specialist books is already further along and has already dealt with it more.”

These areas were “easier than the field of fiction, where I think at the moment people still tend to look a bit more at the risks”, she added. 

Artificial intelligence’s relationship with publishing threatens to throw up a host of legal problems, with one major “grey area” being who owns the copyright of AI-generated content, said fair director Boos. 

“Then you get into a real mess, and it is a huge theme. There is also really a lot of money involved,” he said.

. . . .

Last month, Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult were among several writers who filed a class-action lawsuit against ChatGPT creator OpenAI over alleged violation of copyrights.

Along with the Authors Guild, an organisation representing writers, they accused the California-based company of using their books “without permission” to train ChatGPT’s “large language models”, algorithms capable of producing human-sounding text responses based on simple queries, according to the lawsuit.

Translation is another thorny area, with some industry players feeling artificial intelligence would miss the nuances and subtleties needed to render complex literature into other languages.

Link to the rest at Today Online

The best AI tools to make you a better writer

From Fast Company:

You’ll soon see AI in most writing tools. Canva, Notion, Craft, Coda, and other popular writing services have been racing to add new AI features. Google Docs added a new AI-driven summarization feature. Read on for what AI can do for you, where the hype goes too far, and a few recommended tools to try.

. . . .


  • Lex. I love its simplicity. It’s designed specifically for individual writers, not marketers, technologists or corporate teams. It doesn’t make braggadocious claims, just helps writers in subtle ways.

    Lex draws on the same OpenAI engine as Canva Docs but lacks its visual features. It’s useful if you write often but don’t need the 150 menu options available in Microsoft Word. For now, Lex is free, with a waitlist for access. For now, Lex is free, with a waitlist for access.

    Still in private beta, it already has great features, including:
    • title generator to suggest headlines for whatever you’re writing.
    • question answerer to respond concisely to factual queries.
    • A paragraph writer that assesses what you’ve written and suggests a relevant next paragraph or bullet-points that build on your argument. It can also help remind you of blind spots in your writing by listing topics, facts or issues you may have accidentally ignored.
    • Writing stats to track productivity.
  • ChatGPT isn’t a writing service per se, but it’s a helpful way to challenge your own thinking by seeking out AI explanations of complex issues. More than a million people have already signed up to chat with this remarkable chatbot that answers questions with an eerily human touch.
  • has the best-designed implementation of any of the AI writing tools I’ve seen so far. You hit / and it gives you some options for adding directly into whatever doc you’re working on. It works on the Mac and Windows apps, on the Web and on iOS.

    You can use the AI feature to summarize or explain something; create an outline; write a pros and cons list; generate keywords or hashtags; suggest a title; add to something you’ve written; or translate your text into English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Korean or Japanese. It can stray beyond those features. I asked it to generate a limerick about AI, which you’ll see in this AI-generated document it spun out of my testing.
  • Canva Docs calls its AI feature Magic Write, which I mentioned in my piece last week. It joins another Canva AI tool that lets you generate images by typing in a text prompt, and a magic resizing tool that will adjust your image to fit whatever dimensions you need. Those first two AI features are free.
  • is useful for generating marketing materials.

    To test it I typed in some keywords about the Wonder Tools newsletter. It generated surprisingly decent marketing copy employing the Pain/Problem-Agitate-Solution framework.

    It didn’t, of course, generate the time or expertise required to figure out a marketing strategy. For non-marketers, though, AI-generated text can provide a helpful starting point.

    You can also use it to generate YouTube titles and descriptions, Instagram captions, TikTok video ideas, Facebook ad text, and various other formats.

Link to the rest at Fast Company

Much Ado About AI: Why I Built a Tool to Modernize Shakespeare’s Verse

From School Library Journal:

There’s a good argument that Shakespeare is the world’s most popular author. About 90 percent of American schools assign Shakespeare to students. His work has been translated into more than 100 languages. Declare “To be or not to be,” and most will answer, “That is the question.” The Bard’s work is widely integrated across culture, education, and the modern English language. Despite this, people find Shakespeare hard. Some might even say too hard.

In a recent survey of 500 teachers, 56 percent said their students found Shakespeare difficult to read. Of these teachers, 60 percent said the Elizabethan language was the biggest obstacle for students reading the plays. The themes of love, betrayal, and ambition are timeless—but maybe Elizabethan English isn’t. For many first-time readers, Shakespeare’s plays are full of unfamiliar words, phrasing, and grammatical constructions.

This reported difficulty with the language shouldn’t be viewed as a problem with Shakespeare. Elizabethan English didn’t suddenly become dated in 2023. It’s been unfamiliar and antiquated to readers for many decades. But increasingly, the language is a barrier to new readers starting a love affair with the material.

Here, in my view, artificial intelligence (AI) offers a unique benefit: facilitating the reading experience of Shakespeare’s works. Large language models (LLMs: the AI systems that power popular products like ChatGPT) have exciting potential to help people read older texts with relative ease.

If you provide AI models with text, they can instantaneously synthesize, explain, and contextualize it. They offer definitions of words, historical context, and other details that might escape a modern reader. If you’re reading War and Peace and have a foggy sense of Russian history, running a passage through an AI model quickly provides bullet points on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia as well as definitions of period-specific terms.

AI can also accurately paraphrase Elizabethan language into modern English so readers can understand any line of Shakespeare. This strategy isn’t intended as a substitute for reading the original text, but as a “reading copilot” on hand to help.

Bard-themed AI tools are gaining popularity. One I created, Shakespeare Translator, has been used by over 50,000 readers. These AI models aren’t deterministic systems with pre-written translations mapped to certain lines. Rather, the tools use LLMs to analyze the context and language patterns, providing modern interpretations.

Many are quick to critique AI-powered reading tools. The arguments essentially center on the idea that using AI waters down the joy and rewards of reading. But using AI isn’t about replacing reading. It’s about helping more people appreciate difficult material, more readily, and with fewer barriers to entry.

. . . .

How useful are these translations? Are they accurate? Do they actually help students grasp the meaning of lines? Judge for yourself.

Here’s the original text of the famous Hamlet speech
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die; to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.”

Run through a Shakespeare translation tool, this is paraphrased to
“The big question is whether it’s better to keep on living or to end it all. Is it nobler to endure the hardships and misfortunes that life throws at us, or to fight against all the problems that come our way and put an end to them? Death would mean eternal rest and therefore an escape from the pain and suffering that life brings us.”

Or consider this from Richard III
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”

“Our unhappiness has now turned into joy due to the presence of the ruler from York; and all of our worries and troubles are now in the past.”

Link to the rest at School Library Journal

Here’s a link to  Shakespeare Translator

PG’s Borrowed Thoughts:

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

Carl Sagan

Your Daily Bard

PG is going to play with Google Bard for a bit to see how it might perform as an assistant to an author.

He recognizes that Bard is most definitely a work in progress and is not in the same league as even a mediocre author.

PG will do this off and on for a bit. If you think it is a boring mistake, feel free to skip it and/or contact PG to tell him to stop wasting your time.

Below, you’ll find PG’s prompt and three alternative responses from Bard.

Prompt: Write the first chapter of a contemporary spy thriller set in New York City

First Response

Chapter 1

The city lights twinkled like stars in the night sky as Anya slipped through the shadows of Central Park. She was dressed in black, her movements silent and precise. She had been trained to be invisible, to blend into the background and disappear at a moment’s notice.

Tonight, she was on a mission.

She had received a tip from her handler, a mysterious man named Raven, that a high-stakes arms deal was going down in the park. Anya was tasked with infiltrating the deal and gathering as much intelligence as possible.

She made her way to the clearing where the deal was supposed to take place. It was deserted, save for a few pigeons roosting in the trees. Anya waited patiently, her senses on high alert.

After a few minutes, she heard the sound of footsteps approaching. She ducked behind a tree and watched as two figures emerged from the darkness. They were both men, dressed in expensive suits and sunglasses.

One of the men carried a briefcase. Anya’s heart skipped a beat. She knew that briefcase contained the weapons that were the subject of the deal.

The two men stopped in the middle of the clearing. They exchanged a few words, then the man with the briefcase opened it and revealed a cache of weapons inside.

Anya watched as the other man inspected the weapons. He seemed satisfied. He nodded to the man with the briefcase, then reached into his jacket pocket.

Anya knew what was coming next. The other man was about to pay for the weapons. She had to act fast.

She burst out from behind the tree and tackled the man with the briefcase to the ground. The other man spun around, his hand reaching for a gun.

Anya was quicker. She drew her own gun and pointed it at the man’s head.

“Freeze!” she ordered.

The man froze, his eyes wide with fear.

Anya turned to the man on the ground. He had dropped the briefcase and was now struggling to get up.

“Don’t move,” she warned.

She walked over to the briefcase and opened it. Inside, she saw a variety of weapons, including assault rifles, handguns, and grenades.

Anya knew that this was a major bust. She had stopped a dangerous arms deal and prevented these weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

But she also knew that her work was far from over. The people behind this deal were still out there, and they would be looking for her.

She had to get out of here, and fast.

She turned to the two men. “You’re both under arrest,” she said.

She handcuffed them both and then called for backup.

A few minutes later, a police car arrived. Anya briefed the officers on what had happened, and they took the two men into custody.

Anya watched as the police car drove away. She took a deep breath and sighed with relief. She had done it. She had stopped the arms deal and saved the day.

But she knew that this was just the beginning. The real danger was still out there.

She turned and walked away, disappearing into the shadows of Central Park.

Second Response

Chapter 1

The night was cold and blustery, the wind whipping through the streets of New York City like a banshee. A lone figure stood in the shadows of a doorway, hunched against the cold. His eyes scanned the street, alert for any sign of trouble.

The man’s name was Alex Stone, and he was a spy. He worked for the CIA, and he was very good at his job. But tonight, he was worried. He had been tasked with a dangerous mission, and he knew that the stakes were high.

Alex’s mission was to infiltrate a secret meeting of a group of terrorists who were planning an attack on the United States. The terrorists were meeting in a penthouse apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and Alex had managed to get himself invited.

But now, as he stood in the doorway, he was having second thoughts. He knew that the terrorists were dangerous, and he wasn’t sure if he was ready to face them. But he also knew that he couldn’t back out now. The lives of innocent people were at stake.

Alex took a deep breath and stepped out of the doorway. He walked down the street, blending in with the crowd. He kept his head down and his eyes on the ground, so as not to attract attention.

When he reached the apartment building, he went inside and took the elevator to the penthouse. He knocked on the door, and a moment later it was opened by a man with a shaved head and a goatee.

“Alex Stone?” the man asked.

“That’s me,” Alex said.

“Welcome,” the man said. “Come in.”

Alex stepped inside the apartment. It was large and luxurious, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offered a breathtaking view of the city skyline. The apartment was filled with people, all of them well-dressed and sophisticated.

Alex scanned the room, looking for the leader of the terrorists. He spotted him in the corner, talking to a group of men. The leader was a tall, imposing man with a black beard. He was wearing a dark suit and tie.

Alex made his way over to the leader and introduced himself.

“Alex Stone,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“The pleasure is mine,” the leader said. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“I hope it’s all good,” Alex said.

“It is,” the leader said. “I’m confident that you’ll be a valuable asset to our team.”

Alex smiled. He had infiltrated the meeting, and he was now one step closer to completing his mission. But he knew that the real danger was still ahead.

To be continued...

Third Response

Chapter 1: The Drop

The rain in New York City was relentless, pounding on the pavement and sidewalks like a thousand tiny fists. It was a cold, blustery night, and the city streets were deserted.

A lone figure stood in the shadows of a doorway, watching the rain fall. He was tall and lean, with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. He wore a black trench coat and a fedora hat, pulled low over his brow.

His name was Jake Stone, and he was a spy.

Stone had been watching this particular doorway for the past two hours. He knew that a drop was scheduled to take place here tonight, and he was determined to intercept it.

The drop was a routine intelligence exchange between Stone’s agency, the CIA, and the Russian intelligence agency, the FSB. It was a delicate operation, and the slightest mistake could lead to disaster.

Stone’s heart pounded in his chest as he watched the seconds tick by. He knew that the drop was due any minute now.

Suddenly, a black van pulled up to the curb. The door opened and a man in a suit got out. He was carrying a briefcase.

The man looked around cautiously, then walked over to the doorway where Stone was hiding.

“Stone?” he whispered.

Stone nodded.

“The package,” the man said, handing over the briefcase.

Stone took the briefcase and checked it. It was heavy and locked.

“Thank you,” he said.

The man turned and walked back to the van. He got in and the van drove away.

Stone waited a few minutes, then he stepped out of the doorway and into the rain. He walked down the street, careful to stay in the shadows.

He knew that the Russians would be following him, but he didn’t care. He had the package, and that was all that mattered.

Stone turned a corner and entered a small alleyway. He stopped and looked around. There was no one in sight.

He quickly unlocked the briefcase and opened it. Inside was a stack of papers.

Stone took out the top sheet and scanned it. It was a list of names and addresses.

He recognized some of the names immediately. They were the names of high-ranking Russian officials.

Stone smiled. This was a major breakthrough.

He quickly put the papers back in the briefcase and locked it. Then he turned and walked out of the alleyway.

He knew that he had to get the package to his superiors as quickly as possible. But first, he needed to find a place to hide.

Stone looked around and saw a small hotel across the street. He quickly crossed the street and went inside.

He checked into a room and went up to his floor. He unlocked the door and stepped inside.

He closed the door behind him and locked it. Then he placed the briefcase on the bed and sat down next to it.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He had done it. He had intercepted the drop.

But he knew that the job wasn’t over yet. The Russians would be looking for him, and they would stop at nothing to get the package back.

Stone stood up and walked to the window. He looked down at the street below.

He knew that he had to be careful. But he also knew that he couldn’t let the Russians win.

He had to get the package to his superiors, no matter what.

When Successful, Art Exceeds Its Creator’s Plans – Especially In the Days of AI

From LexBlog:

When successful, art exceeds its creator’s plans. So true in these days of AI.

No one could have envisioned the “travelings” of a book, an article or a legal blog post. To the “Books3 database” for Meta’s AI?

Ian Bogost, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, takes a contra – and refreshing – view to that of most authors, reporters and publishers when it comes to the scraping of their work for the training of AI large language models such as ChatGPT.

A searchable database revealed that thousands of books were used “without permission,” causing some authors to express outrage and even launch lawsuits against tech giant Meta.

Bogost’s response:

Whether or not Meta’s behavior amounts to infringement is a matter for the courts to decide. Permission is a different matter. One of the facts (and pleasures) of authorship is that one’s work will be used in unpredictable ways. The philosopher Jacques Derrida liked to talk about “dissemination,” which I take to mean that, like a plant releasing its seed, an author separates from their published work. Their readers (or viewers, or listeners) not only can but must make sense of that work in different contexts. A retiree cracks a Haruki Murakami novel recommended by a grandchild. A high-school kid skims Shakespeare for a class. My mother’s tree trimmer reads my book on play at her suggestion. A lack of permission underlies all of these uses, as it underlies influence in general: When successful, art exceeds its creator’s plans.

Sitting with a group of law firm leaders in January, I was told they were going to sign a demand letter, along with other large law firms, demanding that large LLM’s – OpenAI, Google, etc stop scraping the open legal publishing of law firms.

I thought lots of luck – and why would you want to stop the advancement of the law, which the use of AI in legal publishing represents.

That silliness by law firms, as best I can tell, has subsided.

Books, articles and legal publishing – and AI itself – are vessels for ideas, per Bogost.

Once bound and published, boxed and shipped, my books find their way to places I might never have anticipated. As vessels for ideas, I hope, but also as doorstops or insect-execution devices or as the last inch of a stack that holds up a laptop for an important Zoom. Or even—even!—as a litany of tokens, chunked apart to be reassembled by the alien mind of a weird machine. Why not? I am an author, sure, but I am also a man who put some words in order amid the uncountable others who have done the same. If authorship is nothing more than vanity, then let the machines put us out of our misery.

I tend to agree with Bogost that authors, rather than feeling violated, should consider the unexpected ways their works contribute to the collective human—and increasingly machine—understanding.

Link to the rest at LexBlog

London: Top Publishing Organizations on AI Protection

From Publishing Perspectives:

A key development in world publishing’s response to artificial intelligence technologies, today (October 31), four of the United Kingdom’s most prominent publishing-industry organizations have issued an adamant message to the government led by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak.

The Publishers Association; the Society of Authors, a trade union; Association of Authors’ Agents, and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (referred to by its initialization, ALCS) are making an appeal that points to the importance of this week’s AI Safety Summit led by Sunak’s offices—and outlines the critical nature of its mission.

In these four leading entities’ statement you can hear the sort of “tale of two technologies” debate that much of world publishing has had with itself over AI, the point being—as discussed onstage by Núria Cabutí, the CEO of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, here at the ongoing Sharjah Publishers Conference—that while much may be supported and accompanied by AI in the “back end” setting of publishing’s data and management positions, the creative input must be held strictly as a force and field of human creativity only, protected from incursions by the operations of AI programs.

Here is the complete text of the statement communicated today to No. 10 Downing Street by these four British associations:

As a society, we should support human authorship unequivocally. It is of the utmost importance that the government puts into place tangible solutions as soon as possible to protect the human creativity and knowledge that underpins safe and reliable AI. Human creativity is the bedrock of the publishing and wider creative industries. That creativity will be worth around £116 billion [US$140.8 billion] this year in the UK alone.

“We applaud the prime minister for convening the first ever AI Safety Summit this week and for positioning the UK as a facilitator for strong global action on artificial intelligence and it is right for the UK to seek to be a leading light in development of AI, embracing the many benefits it can bring when used responsibly and ethically as a tool. The publishing industry was an early adopter of AI and we fully recognize the potential benefits and opportunities it can bring to our industry with AI tools that help us enhance human creativity and academic endeavor by reaching our audiences, marketing our books and journals more effectively, and improving processes and systems. However, it must be used ethically and legally, and its use must be regulated.

“We need urgent confirmation from government to ensure that AI systems cannot continue to use copyright-protected works with impunity. Creative work—and industries like publishing that are built on it—can only thrive under the right conditions: a strong copyright regime, compensation, credit for authors and other creators, and rightsholders’ control. But those conditions are being undermined—and creative works devalued—by today’s unfettered, opaque development of AI systems, which have been designed using copyright-protected works used without permission or payment.

“We need acknowledgement of and recompense for the copyright infringement that has already happened—including the pirated Books3 database used to develop many high profile systems—and assurances that those practices will end. We need practices based on consent and fair payment to ensure that authors and rights holders are asked for permission and rewarded for the use of their works. We need to ensure that creators are credited when their works are used to generate derivative outputs.

“And we need transparency and attribution. An end to the opaque development of AI is long overdue. We can only ensure that with strong government support.

“This is an issue on which the entire publishing industry is united. It is vital that authors and rightsholders are protected by government as AI continues to be developed. We urge the prime minister to make a statement of commitment to protecting the value of human creativity, intellectual property, and publishing and the creative industries, while these new technologies evolve.”

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

PG remembers that when spell-checking was added to computer word-processing programs, some decried this technology as a dangerous substitution for memorizing how words are spelled (“If the letter C you spy, place the E before the I.”).

PG doesn’t remember the specific predicted consequences, but they were something like the brains of the younger generation would be turned to mush.

Of course, just like all preceding generations, some of the brains were turned to mush, but others were stimulated by the ability to write much more clearly and quickly than was possible for them BC – Before Computers and BS – Before Spellcheckers.

Not long ago, grammar checkers started showing up in all kinds of new environments. PG doesn’t remember the same hue and cry as he recalls about spellcheckers, but perhaps he was running around with the wrong crowd.

AI tools will be the next assistive technology that allows humans to leverage their intelligence to communicate more clearly, accurately, effectively, and quickly.

AI doomsday warnings a distraction from the danger it already poses, warns expert

From The Guardian:

Focusing on doomsday scenarios in artificial intelligence is a distraction that plays down immediate risks such as the large-scale generation of misinformation, according to a senior industry figure attending this week’s AI safety summit.

Aidan Gomez, co-author of a research paper that helped create the technology behind chatbots, said long-term risks such as existential threats to humanity from AI should be “studied and pursued”, but that they could divert politicians from dealing with immediate potential harms.

“I think in terms of existential risk and public policy, it isn’t a productive conversation to be had,” he said. “As far as public policy and where we should have the public-sector focus – or trying to mitigate the risk to the civilian population – I think it forms a distraction, away from risks that are much more tangible and immediate.”

Gomez is attending the two-day summit, which starts on Wednesday, as chief executive of Cohere, a North American company that makes AI tools for businesses including chatbots. In 2017, at the age of 20, Gomez was part of a team of researchers at Google who created the Transformer, a key technology behind the large language models which power AI tools such as chatbots.

Gomez said that AI – the term for computer systems that can perform tasks typically associated with intelligent beings – was already in widespread use and it is those applications that the summit should focus on. Chatbots such as ChatGPT and image generators such as Midjourney have stunned the public with their ability to produce plausible text and images from simple text prompts.

“This technology is already in a billion user products, like at Google and others. That presents a host of new risks to discuss, none of which are existential, none of which are doomsday scenarios,” Gomez said. “We should focus squarely on the pieces that are about to impact people or are actively impacting people, as opposed to perhaps the more academic and theoretical discussion about the long-term future.”

Gomez said misinformation – the spread of misleading or incorrect information online – was his key concern. “Misinformation is one that is top of mind for me,” he said. “These [AI] models can create media that is extremely convincing, very compelling, virtually indistinguishable from human-created text or images or media. And so that is something that we quite urgently need to address. We need to figure out how we’re going to give the public the ability to distinguish between these different types of media.”

Gomez, who described the summit as “really important”, said it was already “very plausible” that an army of bots – software that performs repetitive tasks, such as posting on social media – could spread AI-generated misinformation. “If you can do that, that’s a real threat, to democracy and to the public conversation,” he said.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

Artificial Intelligence Raises Questions On Intellectual Property And Ownership

From Texas A&M Today:

The battle over intellectual property (IP) ownership and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues as high-profile authors like George R.R. Martin are suing OpenAI for copyright infringement. Additionally, a major factor in the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes has been negotiating protections of writer’s contributions and actor’s likenesses. Even tattoo artists are questioning whether their works on celebrities can be reproduced in video games. The latest development concerns feeding literature into AI to train language models using the IP of writers without their consent.

To further understanding of this complex issue, Texas A&M University professor Dr. Peter Yu provides insight on IP, legal concepts and ownership when it comes to artificial intelligence. Yu, Regents Professor of Law and Communication and director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property, also holds dual appointments in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the School of Law.

What is IP? Does it include art and literature?

IP covers everything from literary and artistic works to pharmaceutical products to trademarked logos. Many use this term to refer to creations of the mind. When used in a non-legal context — for example, in day-to-day discussion of movies or video games — the term “IP” sometimes carries a broader coverage than specified by law. IP law carefully delineates the boundaries of protection and the conditions under which protected works can be used without authorization — for example, when a Texas A&M student makes a fair use of a copyrighted textbook.

Is there a difference between sharing, referencing, being inspired by or “using” another’s IP?

How we use another’s IP can affect different branches of IP law or varying types of IP right. In U.S. copyright law, for example, referencing or “being inspired by” (without copying) never amounts to infringement. Sharing, however, may infringe on the reproduction right, the distribution right or other rights, depending on the circumstances.

One area that has garnered growing attention involves the creation of works in the style of another author or artist — for example, using AI to create songs imitating those performed by the Beatles, BTS or Drake. While copyright law generally does not protect genres and styles, the right of publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial use of an individual’s name, likeness, voice or other personal attributes. Indeed, the past few months have seen some interesting discussion about whether we should expand the right of publicity or create a new sui generis (“of its own kind”) right to protect authors and artists against AI-generated imitative works.

How does AI affect IP law and ownership?

Among the different areas of IP law, copyright is the most relevant to art and literature. AI has raised at least three distinct issues in this area. Although this issue has sparked a spirited debate about the future of copyright protection, courts and the Copyright Office agree that these creations receive no copyright protection.

The second issue pertains to what policymakers and commentators have referred to as “ingestion” — whether copyrighted works can be used as to train AI systems without the authorization of copyright holders. Feeding A Game of Thrones and other books written by George R.R. Martin into an AI system as training data will help the system learn how humans communicate — and, more specifically, how Martin uses language to tell his stories.

Based on current law, using a copyrighted work to train an AI system is unlikely to constitute copyright infringement, especially if that system has not retained a copy of the original work after completing the training process. However, there remains wide disagreement over whether an AI system is allowed to generate without authorization creations that are substantially similar to those copyrighted works on which the system was trained. There are ongoing lawsuits targeting the unauthorized use of copyrighted works as training data, including the one filed against Open AI by Martin, John Grisham and other high-profile authors. These cases will shed light on this debate.

The final issue involves the use of AI in the IP environment — for example, for securing, managing or enforcing IP rights. While it is exciting to use AI to determine whether a copyrighted work is protectable or has been infringed, many people understandably will find it disconcerting when AI systems take over decisions that have been traditionally made by the Copyright Office or federal judges. Also well documented are the biases found in AI systems, many of which remain elusive and difficult to correct.

Link to the rest at Texas A&M Today

Memorandum of Agreement for The 2023 WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement

PG introductory explanation: The following is an excerpt between a couple of chapters of the Writers Guild of America and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The producers contract with writers for movie and television scripts.

Basically, this is a union contract with management. The original document is 94 pages long, and you should be able to review the entire document at the link if you’re into that sort of activity.

PG is excerpting a portion of the agreement that governs the use of Artificial Intelligence programs. He apologizes for the formatting, which he has tweaked a bit for readability but is, unfortunately, still used in far more than a few contracts negotiated by lawyers and keyboarded by legal secretaries. Additionally, PG could see no need for the use of quote marks here and there.

Note also that PG’s excerpt begins with Article 72 of the contract. PG reads these sorts of documents so you don’t have to.



A. The parties acknowledge that definitions of generative artificial intelligence
(‘GAI’) vary, but agree that the term generally refers to a subset of artificial
intelligence that learns patterns from data and produces content, including written
material, based on those patterns, and may employ algorithmic methods (e.g.,
ChatGPT, Llama, MidJourney, Dall-E). It does not include ‘traditional AI’
technologies such as those used in CGI and VFX and those programmed to
perform operational and analytical functions.

B. The Companies agree that because neither traditional AI nor GAI is a person,
neither is a ‘writer’ or ‘professional writer’ as defined in Articles 1.B.1.a.,
1.B.1.b., 1.C.1.a. and 1.C.1.b. of this MBA, and, therefore, written material
produced by traditional AI or GAI shall not be considered literary material under
this or any prior MBA.

C. Should a Company furnish a writer with written material produced by GAI which
has not been previously published or exploited, and instruct the writer to use the
GAI-produced material as the basis for writing literary material:

1. The Company shall disclose to that writer that the written material was
produced by GAI.

2. The GAI-produced written material shall not be considered assigned
material for purposes of determining the writer’s compensation.

3. The GAI-produced written material shall not be considered source material
for purposes of determining writing credit.

4. The GAI-produced written material shall not be the basis for disqualifying
a writer from eligibility for separated rights.

This subparagraph C. also applies when a writer, with the consent of the
Company, uses GAI in the course of preparing literary material. Company agrees
that it will not publish or exploit GAI written material for the purposes of evading
this provision.

“When a writer, with the consent of the Company, uses GAI in the course of
preparing written material or incorporates GAI-produced material in written
material, such written material shall be considered literary material and not
material ‘produced’ by GAI.

The following examples illustrate application of this subparagraph C.:


“Company furnishes Writer A with written material substantially in the
form of a screenplay produced by GAI which has not been previously
published or exploited and assigns no other materials. Company instructs
Writer A to rewrite the GAI-produced written material. Company must
pay Writer A no less than the minimum compensation for a screenplay
under Article 13.A.1.a.(2), as well as no less than the amount specified in
Article 13.A.1.a.(9), ‘Additional Compensation Screenplay – No Assigned
Material.’ The GAI-produced written material is not considered source
material when determining writing credit to Writer A and will not
disqualify Writer A from eligibility for separated rights.

“Company later assigns the screenplay rewritten by Writer A to Writer B
and instructs Writer B to rewrite the screenplay rewritten by Writer A.
Company must pay Writer B no less than the minimum compensation for a
rewrite under Article 13.A.1.a.(3). Writer A’s rewritten screenplay must be
considered when determining writing credit to Writer B and eligibility for
separated rights.


“Company furnishes Writer A with written material substantially in the
form of a story produced by GAI which has not been previously published
or exploited and assigns no other materials. Company instructs Writer A to
write a teleplay based on the GAI-produced written material. Company
must pay Writer A no less than the minimum compensation for a story and
teleplay. The GAI-produced story is not considered source material when
determining writing credit to Writer A and will not disqualify Writer A
from eligibility for separated rights.
“Company later assigns the teleplay written by Writer A to Writer B and
instructs Writer B to rewrite the teleplay written by Writer A. Company
must pay Writer B no less than the minimum compensation for a rewrite.
Writer A’s teleplay must be considered when determining writing credit to
Writer B and eligibility for separated rights.

“D. A writer will be required to adhere to the Company’s policies regarding the use of
GAI (e.g., policies related to ethics, privacy, security, copyrightability or other
protection of intellectual property rights). Any purchase of literary material from
a professional writer is also subject to such policies. A writer must obtain the
Company’s consent before using GAI. The Company retains the right to reject the
use of GAI, including the right to reject a use of GAI that could adversely affect
the copyrightability or exploitation of the work.

“E. A Company may not require, as a condition of employment, that a writer use a
GAI program which generates written material that would otherwise be ‘literary
material’ (as defined in Article 1.A.5.) if written by a writer (as defined in Article
1.B.1.a. and Article 1.C.1.a.) (e.g., a Company may not require a writer to use
ChatGPT to write literary material). The preceding sentence does not prohibit a
Company from requiring a writer to use a GAI program that does not generate
written material, such as a GAI program that detects potential copyright
infringement or plagiarism.

“F. The parties acknowledge that the legal landscape around the use of GAI is
uncertain and rapidly developing and each party is reserving all rights relating
thereto unless otherwise expressly addressed in this Article 72. For example,
nothing in this Article 72 restricts any writer who has retained reserved rights
under Article 16.B., or the WGA on behalf of any such writer, from asserting that
the exploitation of their literary material to train, inform, or in any other way
develop GAI software or systems, is within such rights and is not otherwise
permitted under applicable law.

“G. Each Company agrees to meet with the Guild during the term of this Agreement at
least semi-annually at the request of the Guild and subject to appropriate
confidentiality agreements to discuss and review information related to the
Company’s use and intended use of GAI in motion picture development and
production. The foregoing provision shall not be construed to waive any right of
the Guild under the National Labor Relations Act, including but not limited to the
right to seek information necessary and relevant to the administration and enforcement of this Article 72.”

Link to the rest at WGA Contract 2023

George R.R. Martin and other authors sue OpenAI for copyright infringement

From The Verge:

More authors sued OpenAI for copyright infringement, joining other writers in pursuing legal action against generative AI companies for using their books to train AI models.

The Authors Guild and 17 well-known authors like Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, and Jodi Picoult filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs hope to get the filing classified as a class action.

According to the complaint, OpenAI “copied plaintiffs’ works wholesale, without permission or consideration” and fed the copyrighted materials into large language models.

“These authors’ livelihoods derive from the works they create. But the Defendant’s LLMs endanger fiction writers’ ability to make a living in that the LLMs allow anyone to generate — automatically and freely (or very cheaply) — text that they would otherwise pay writers to create,” the lawsuit said.

The authors added that OpenAI’s LLMs could result in derivative work “that is based on, mimics, summarizes, or paraphrases” their books, which could harm their market.

OpenAI, the complaint said, could have trained GPT on works in the public domain instead of pulling in copyrighted material without paying a licensing fee.

OpenAI said in a statement to The Verge that the company is optimistic it is “having productive conversations with my creators around the world, including the Authors’ Guild, and have been working cooperatively to understand and discuss their concerns about AI.”

“We’re optimistic we will continue to find mutually beneficial ways to work together to help people utilize new technology in a rich content ecosystem,” the company said.

Link to the rest at The Verge

Authors shocked to find AI ripoffs of their books being sold on Amazon

From The Guardian:

Publishing a book is a big occasion for any writer, and Rory Cellan-Jones is no exception.

“Like any author, I obsessively check Amazon,” he said. “And this thing popped up.”

The former BBC technology correspondent wrote a memoir untangling the truth about his family history. What had popped up on the Amazon website was a biography of Cellan-Jones, with a naively designed cover by someone he had never heard of.

“I thought: ‘This is strange – who’s writing a biography of me?’” Cellan-Jones told the Observer. “I don’t kid myself. It’s difficult enough for me to sell books about myself, [let alone] for other people to sell books about me.”

But glancing at a few passages revealed that Cellan-Jones had fallen victim to someone attempting to piggyback on his memoir by releasing a title with text apparently generated by artificial intelligence – one of an influx of AI titles since the emergence of ChatGPT enabled people to generate pages of text rather than bothering to write it.

Cellan-Jones’s book, Ruskin Park: Sylvia, Me and the BBC, describes how he discovered a shoebox of letters from his mother detailing her love affair with his father, a BBC TV director he only met at the age of 23, and how she came to spend most of her life in a one-bedroom south London flat. It is, he said, “about growing up with a single mother and a father who wasn’t there”.

The book rivalling his family detective story was “complete fantasy”, Cellan-Jones said. “There are passages about the Cellan-Joneses, an academic family sat around the table … His father, a kindly academic; his mother, a teacher. Just complete baloney.

“Then Amazon sent me an email saying: ‘You might like this.’ Their algorithm had decided this was a bloody book I would want rather than recommending my book that I’ve slaved long and hard over … They’re effectively allowing book spam and recommending it to the very person who is most annoyed by it.”

The ersatz biography and other titles by the pseudonymous author were removed by Amazon, but plenty more get through the filters intended to weed out low-quality books.

It has been easy for bookspammers to release dozens of titles in a day using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system, which enables authors to self-publish ebooks and printed books.

. . . .

Someone styled as “Steven Walryn” published more than 30 books, mostly nonsensical and repetitive guides on how to use camera brands, as well as a couple of fantasy romances, with 15 published on the same day in May. They were removed by Amazon last week.

. . . .

Amazon could not say how many books it prevents from being published or how many were taken down. In August, Jane Friedman, who writes about publishing, forced it to remove five bogus titles in her name that appeared to be AI-generated.

“Amazon is clearly facing significant challenges with the influx of AI-generated products in its stores, and it appears to be playing catchup,” said Nicola Solomon, the chief executive of the Society of Authors (SoA).

A few weeks ago, the firm said publishers of new KDP publications would need to declare if they included AI-generated content and would be limited to publishing three books a day, moves welcomed by Solomon.

“But these small fixes seem more designed to benefit Amazon’s processes than readers and human authors,” she added. The SoA wants Amazon to clearly label products as AI-generated and allow readers to filter out AI titles.

The problem is similar to that encountered by musicians, who face competition for a slice of Spotify’s royalty pot from people uploading white noise to the streaming service.

Link to the rest on The Guardian

Generative AI vs. Copyright

From Publishers Weekly:

The balance between copyright and free speech is being challenged by generative AI (GAI), a powerful and enigmatic tool that mimics human responses to prompts entered into an internet search box. The purpose of copyright law, according to the U.S. Constitution, is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their exclusive writings.” The problem is that GAI’s ability to incentivize progress and innovation threatens the entertainment industry’s dependence on copyright to protect creative works.

Copyright law strikes a balance between those who create content and the public’s interest in having wide access to that content. It does this via granting authors a limited monopoly over the dissemination of original works by giving them the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and create derivative works based on copyrighted material. However, the concept of exclusive rights doesn’t really apply to artificially intelligent robots and computers scraping ideas and facts from public websites.

Because copyright does not protect ideas, facts, procedures, concepts, principles, or discoveries described or embodied in works, copying alone doesn’t constitute copyright infringement. To prove copyright infringement, one must prove that the defendant had access to the copyrighted work and that the defendant’s work is substantially similar to protected aspects of the first work.

For AI output to infringe upon a book, it must have taken a substantial amount of copyrightable expression from the author’s work. When it comes to text, GAI is an artful plagiarist. It knows how to dance around copyright. The predictive model emulates, it doesn’t copy. Insofar as text generated in response to a prompt is not substantially similar—a legal term of art—to the data it is scraping, it is not an infringement. In other words, don’t overestimate the value of litigation.

The fair-use doctrine is another limitation on the exclusive rights of authors. Its purpose is to avoid the rigid application of copyright law in ways that might otherwise stifle the growth of art and science. Fair use is highly fact specific. Which is another way of saying it’s a murky and contentious area of the law.

Several cases decided before the advent of GAI suggest fair use encompasses the ingestion and processing of books by GAI. For example, in 2015, in Authors Guild v. Google, the court ruled that Google’s digitizing of books without consent to create a full-text searchable database that displayed snippets from those titles was a transformative use that served a different purpose and expression than the original books.

Fair use favors transformative uses. However, over time, the concept evolved from using a protected work as a springboard for new insights or critiquing the original to taking someone else’s photographs or other images and including them in a painting and declaring it a fair use.

In 2023, in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the claim to fairness is severely undermined “where an original work and copying use share the same or highly similar purposes, or where wide dissemination of a secondary work would otherwise run the risk of substitution for the original or licensed derivatives of it.” AI-generated works can devalue human-created content, but is that the kind of economic harm contemplated in the Supreme Court’s decision?

To sum up, on a case-by-case basis, courts must determine if substantial similarity exists and then engage in line drawing—balancing free expression and the rights of creators.

. . . .

In an age of disinformation, an author’s brand, a publisher’s imprint, and the goodwill associated with them are valuable assets. I believe the industry is less vulnerable than many think. But, to quote Nick Lowe, “Where it’s goin’ no one knows.”

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

PG notes that the author of the OP is an attorney, so he will cut and paste his disclaimer from the post he just published so no one who reads only this TPV post will not be misled.

PG notes that nothing you read on TPV constitutes legal advice. If you want legal advice, you need to hire a lawyer, not read a blog post.

PG will also note that the OP includes some other suggestions by the author, who is an attorney, which you may want to consider, but hire your own lawyer because, just like PG, the author of the OP is not your attorney and isn’t giving legal advice by writing an article for Publishers Weekly.

Using Generative AI? Consider These 7 Tips From a Legal Expert

From Learn2G2:

As G2’s General Counsel, it’s my job to help build and protect the company, so it’s likely no surprise that generative AI is top of mind for me (and lawyers everywhere!).

While AI presents an opportunity for organizations, it also poses risks. And these risks raise concerns for all business leaders, not only legal departments.

With so much information out there, I recognize these waters can be difficult to navigate. So, to help get to the crux of these concerns and boil them down into a helpful guide for all business leaders, I recently sat down with some of the top minds in the AI space for a round-table discussion in San Francisco.

There, we discussed the changing landscape of generative AI, the laws affecting it, and what this all means for how our businesses operate.

We came to the agreement that, yes, generative AI tools are revolutionizing the way we live and work. However, we also agreed that there are several legal factors businesses should consider as they embark on their generative AI journeys.

Based on that discussion, here are seven things to consider when integrating AI into your company.

Understand the lay of the land

Your first task is to identify whether you’re working with an artificial intelligence company or a company that uses AI. An AI company creates, develops, and sells AI technologies, with AI as its core business offering. Think OpenAI or DeepMind.

On the other hand, a company that uses AI integrates AI into its operations or products but doesn’t create the AI technology itself. Netflix’s recommendation system is a good example of this. Knowing the difference is pivotal, as it determines the complexity of the legal terrain you need to navigate and deciphers which laws apply to you.

G2 lays out the key AI software in this developing field. When you have a bird’s-eye view of the possible tools, you can make better decisions on which is right for your business.

Keep an eye out on the latest developments in the law, as generative AI regulations are on the horizon. Legislation is rapidly developing in the US, UK, and Europe. Likewise, litigation involving AI is actively being decided. Keep in touch with your attorneys for the latest developments.

Choose the right partner, keeping terms of use in mind

You can tell a lot about a company by its terms of use. What does a company value? How do they handle the relationship with their users or customers? The terms of use can serve as a litmus test.

OpenAI, for instance, explicitly states in its usage policies that its technology shouldn’t be used for harmful, deceptive, or otherwise unethical applications. Bing Chat requires users to comply with laws prohibiting offensive content or behavior. Google Bard, meanwhile, focuses on data security and privacy in its terms – highlighting Google’s commitment to protecting user data. Evaluating these terms is essential to ensuring your business aligns with the AI partner’s principles and legal requirements.

We compared the terms of use and privacy policies of several key generative AI players to help us determine which AI tools would work best for our company’s risk profile and recommend you do the same.

Between your company and the AI company, who owns the input? Who owns the output? Will your company data be used to train the AI model? How does the AI tool process, and to whom does it send personally identifiable information? How long will the input or output be retained by the AI tool?

Answers to these questions inform the extent to which your company will want to interact with the AI tool.

Navigate the labyrinth of ownership rights

When using generative AI tools, it’s paramount to understand the extent of your ownership right to the data that you put into the AI and the data that is derived from the AI.

From a contractual perspective, the answers depend on the agreement you have with the AI company. Always ensure that the terms of use or service agreements detail the ownership rights clearly.

For example, OpenAI takes the position that between the user and OpenAI, the user owns all inputs and outputs. Google Bard, Microsoft’s Bing Chat, Jasper Chat, and Anthropic’s Claude similarly each grant full ownership of input and output data to the user but simultaneously reserve for themselves a broad license to use AI-generated content in a multitude of ways.

Anthropic’s Claude grants ownership of input data to the user but only “authorizes users to use the output data.” Anthropic also grants itself a license for AI content, but only “to use all feedback, ideas, or suggested improvements users provide.” The contractual terms you enter into are highly variable across AI companies.

Strike the right balance between copyright and IP

AI’s ability to generate unique outputs creates questions about who has intellectual property (IP) protections over those outputs. Can AI create copyrightable work? If so, who is the holder of the copyright?

The law is not entirely clear on these questions, which is why it’s crucial to have a proactive IP strategy when dealing with AI. Consider whether it is important for your business to enforce IP ownership of the AI output.

Presently, jurisdictions are divided about their views on copyright ownership for AI-generated works. On one hand, the U.S. Copyright Office takes the position that AI-generated works, absent any human involvement, cannot be copyrighted because they are not authored by a human.

Link to the rest at Learn2G2

The article goes on to discuss several other interesting legal and intellectual property points.

PG notes that nothing you read on TPV constitutes legal advice. If you want legal advice, you need to hire a lawyer, not read a blog post.

PG will also note that the OP includes some other suggestions by the author, who is an attorney, which you may want to consider, but hire your own lawyer because, just like PG, the author of the OP is not your attorney and isn’t giving legal advice by writing an online article.

Write me a murder mystery in the style of Dorothy Sayers


Query: Write me a murder mystery in the style of Dorothy Sayers


Chapter 1: An Unexpected Visitor

The rain was relentless, beating a rhythmic tattoo on the windows of Wimsey Manor. Lord Peter Wimsey reclined in his leather armchair, a tumbler of fine Scotch in hand. The fireplace crackled merrily, casting dancing shadows across the bookshelves filled with rare tomes and obscure curiosities. The peace of the evening was shattered by an urgent knock on the door.

Wimsey’s butler, Bunter, ushered in a drenched young woman with a look of distress etched upon her face. Her name was Evelyn Middleton, a distant relative of Wimsey’s and a recent acquaintance. She had a reputation for being a woman of mystery, and it seemed she had brought a new enigma to his doorstep.

“Lord Wimsey,” she began, her voice quivering with anxiety, “I desperately need your help. I believe I am in grave danger.”

Wimsey, ever the gentleman, poured her a glass of sherry and encouraged her to compose herself. As she sipped the amber liquid, she recounted her tale.

Chapter 2: A Lethal Gift

Evelyn explained that earlier that day, she had received an anonymous package containing a string of exquisite pearls. They were of such beauty that even a cursory glance revealed their extraordinary value. Attached to the pearls was a note that read, “For the fairest lady in England.”

Despite their allure, Evelyn had an uneasy feeling about the gift. She had sensed danger lurking beneath their lustrous surface. To confirm her suspicions, she had taken one of the pearls to be examined by a jeweler. The result was chilling—a deadly poison concealed within the pearl’s core.

“I fear that I am the target of an insidious plot,” Evelyn confessed. “But I know not why or by whom.”

Chapter 3: The Web of Suspects

Lord Wimsey listened attentively, his mind racing. He knew that this was no ordinary case. The presence of a poison-laden pearl hinted at a cunning adversary with a twisted sense of vengeance. It was a puzzle that demanded his immediate attention.

Wimsey proposed they invite a select group of guests to Wimsey Manor for the weekend, under the guise of a social gathering. Among them would be Evelyn’s acquaintances, as well as those who might have a motive to harm her. He would use the occasion to observe, question, and deduce.

As the weekend unfolded, Lord Wimsey found himself surrounded by an eclectic group of characters—a retired general, a reclusive artist, a disgruntled business partner, and even a charming foreign diplomat. Each had their own secrets, and each could be a potential suspect.

Chapter 4: Unmasking the Deceiver

Over the course of the weekend, Wimsey meticulously collected evidence and observed the interactions of the guests. Tensions ran high, and suspicions festered. Evelyn, although clearly anxious, remained resolute.

On the final evening, as the guests gathered in the drawing room, Lord Wimsey revealed the true purpose of the weekend gathering—to unmask the person behind the poison-laden pearls. With an eloquence that would have made Dorothy Sayers herself proud, he dissected each guest’s potential motive and alibi, slowly eliminating them one by one.

Then, in a dramatic revelation, he produced a hidden compartment from a curious sculpture in the room—an identical strand of pearls with a hidden poison pearl. It was a masterstroke of misdirection.

The room erupted in shock and confusion. Amidst the chaos, Evelyn’s eyes darted around, and she caught a glimpse of panic in one guest’s face—the foreign diplomat. It was a subtle but telling clue.

Chapter 5: The Culprit Unmasked

With the culprit exposed, Lord Wimsey calmly presented his evidence. The diplomat, it turned out, had a vendetta against Evelyn. He had sent the original poisoned pearls and had been so confident in his cunning that he had brought a backup strand, believing he could frame someone else.

The police were called, and the diplomat was led away in handcuffs, his reputation tarnished forever. The threat to Evelyn was extinguished, and the mystery of the poisoned pearls was solved.

As the rain outside continued to fall, Lord Wimsey watched the diplomat’s departure from the safety of his manor. Another case had been cracked, another villain brought to justice, and another evening of intrigue had come to an end. With a satisfied smile, he raised his glass to the memory of Dorothy Sayers and the enduring legacy of British detective fiction.

Link to more at

PG notes that the free version of is constrained in how long its response will be.

PG doesn’t remember Whimsey Manor in any of Dorothy Sayers’ books.

That said, he asked the AI to write a murder mystery in the style of Dorothy Sayers, so the AI was not strictly restricted by what Sayers actually wrote.

PG will contend that the AI made a mistake by referring to the detective as “Lord Whimsey” instead of “Lord Peter,” which PG understands would have been the customary way of referring or speaking to the second son of a Duke.

For some time, PG thought “The Duke of Denver,” Peter’s father (and later his older brother) was a strange title. However, during his recent reading on the subject, PG discovered that the city in Colorado was preceded by a village called Denver in Norfolk. He understands that the village of Denver currently has a population of less than a thousand people.

(The Denver in Colorado and its suburbs currently have a population of nearly three million people.)

(The later in the evening PG blogs, the more he tends to go down strange rabbit holes.)

(Which causes him to remind one and all that Colorado has a great many jackrabbits {which are actually hares and not rabbits, hares generally being larger and longer-legged than the cotton-tail rabbits and the many other true rabbits one finds in England, Colorado and elsewhere.})

What are the most common features of best-selling science fiction novels?


Query: What are the most common features of best-selling science fiction novels?


While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a best-selling science fiction novel, there are certain common features and elements that tend to be found in many successful works in the genre. Keep in mind that the popularity of specific themes and features can change over time, and what works in one era may not work in another. However, as of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here are some common features of best-selling science fiction novels:

  1. Speculative Concepts: Science fiction often explores speculative and futuristic concepts, such as advanced technology, space exploration, time travel, and alternate realities. Best-sellers often introduce innovative or thought-provoking ideas in these areas.
  2. Engaging World-Building: Successful science fiction novels create immersive and well-developed worlds or universes that feel both plausible and captivating to readers. This includes detailed descriptions of settings, cultures, and societies.
  3. Complex Characters: Best-selling science fiction novels feature compelling and multi-dimensional characters who undergo personal growth and development. Readers should be able to relate to or sympathize with these characters.
  4. Themes and Social Commentary: Many great science fiction works address social, political, or philosophical issues through allegory or metaphor. They provide commentary on real-world problems, such as inequality, authoritarianism, environmental issues, or the consequences of technological advancements.
  5. Technological Advancements: Science and technology play a central role in many science fiction stories. This can involve futuristic inventions, artificial intelligence, cyborgs, or advanced scientific concepts. The portrayal of technology should be both imaginative and thought-provoking.
  6. Conflict and Tension: A strong plot with well-defined conflicts and tensions is crucial. This could involve external threats (alien invasions, space battles) or internal struggles (ethical dilemmas, personal choices).
  7. Unique Premises: Best-sellers often stand out with unique and original premises or twists on familiar concepts. They take risks and avoid clichés.
  8. Emotional Resonance: Successful science fiction novels evoke emotions and create a connection with readers. They can be thrilling, poignant, awe-inspiring, or intellectually stimulating.
  9. Page-Turning Plot: A gripping and well-paced plot keeps readers engaged and eager to turn the next page. Cliffhangers and unexpected twists can be effective tools.
  10. Diverse Perspectives: Many contemporary best-selling science fiction novels feature diverse casts of characters and viewpoints. They reflect a more inclusive and representative vision of the future.
  11. Well-Researched Science: While science fiction often bends the rules of science for the sake of storytelling, incorporating accurate scientific principles and research can lend credibility to the narrative.
  12. Societal Impact: Some of the most memorable science fiction novels explore how technological or societal changes affect individuals and society as a whole. They delve into the consequences of scientific and technological advancements.
  13. Memorable Imagery: Vivid and imaginative descriptions create lasting images in readers’ minds, contributing to the lasting impact of the story.

It’s important to note that while these features are common in best-selling science fiction novels, successful authors often find ways to blend and subvert these elements to create fresh and innovative stories. The science fiction genre is known for its diversity and adaptability, so aspiring authors should feel free to experiment and push the boundaries of traditional conventions.


Proust, ChatGPT and the case of the forgotten quote

From The Guardian:

The other day, I was looking for a quote in Proust, so I thought I would ask ChatGPT. Here’s how it went.

EB: Is there a passage in In Search of Lost Time when Proust talks about how love affairs repeat themselves, and says that when you’re writing about a love affair in the past, you’re often drawing inspiration from a different love affair in the present?

CHATGPT: Yes, there is a passage in Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” (also known as “Remembrance of Things Past”) where he discusses the repetition of love affairs and the influence of present experiences on writing about past love affairs. The passage can be found in the first volume of the novel, “Swann’s Way” (Du côté de chez Swann).

In this passage, Proust reflects on how our present emotions and experiences often color our memories of the past. He suggests that when we write about a past love affair, we might unknowingly be influenced by the emotions and experiences of a current or recent love affair. This blurring of past and present emotions can result in the repetition of themes and feelings in our writing.

The idea of how love affairs repeat themselves and how we are influenced by our present experiences when writing about the past is a recurring theme in Proust’s work, as he delves into the complexities of memory, perception, and the nature of human emotions.

Please note that the specific wording and context of the passage may vary depending on the translation and edition of the novel. If you’re interested in exploring this theme further, I recommend reading “Swann’s Way” to experience Proust’s beautiful prose and intricate exploration of love, memory, and the passage of time.

Some things I was thinking at this point:

1. Hmm, I had expected it to be in Volume 2 or 3. Probably the more recent experience of reading Volume 2 or 3 coloured, or even substituted, my memory of reading Volume 1! Memory is amazing! (Didn’t Proust say something about that somewhere?)

2. I wonder why it didn’t give me a direct quote. I hope it isn’t going to be squirrelly or weird about quotes. Maybe it’s stressed out about copyrighted translations. I’ll try asking for the original.

EB: Could you quote the passage for me in French?

GPT: Certainly! Here’s the passage from Marcel Proust’s “À la recherche du temps perdu” (“In Search of Lost Time”) in its original French:

“Une seule chose avait pourtant changé : les lieux, les êtres, ne présentaient plus qu’un intérêt général et par conséquent, ne m’offraient plus aucun détail intéressant. Ce que je cherchais en eux, ce que j’avais entrevu en eux une fois pour toutes, c’était un état, un sentiment de mon âme, c’était Swann lui-même. Les personnes que je fréquentais pouvaient me parler, au lieu de Swann, de beaucoup d’autres noms propres, lesquels désignaient des états analogues à ceux que Swann me faisait connaître, des états dans lesquels ma personnalité resterait, pourrait se développer, des états qui n’étaient d’ailleurs pas incompatibles avec ceux de Swann, avec sa présence, son souvenir, au point que parfois j’hésitais à les attribuer à l’un plutôt qu’à l’autre. Dès lors j’avais pu reconnaître en chacun de ces êtres à leur manière un des aspects de Swann. Eux seuls désormais m’intéressaient, mais moins comme des personnes distinctes, que comme les moyens qu’ils m’offraient de sortir de moi-même, d’atteindre Swann, d’assouvir ma curiosité, de m’apaiser. Les désirs qu’ils pouvaient me suggérer d’eux, me paraissaient neutres, comparés à l’unique et ardente désir que j’avais de Swann. Mais, lorsque j’essayais de les mettre en pratique, ils m’étaient impossibles ; ils se heurtaient à l’existence, au souvenir de Swann, ils avaient pris naissance dans un état d’esprit inconciliable avec celui-là. Alors il me semblait que j’avais changé d’idées, que j’avais transformé ma vie; ce qui en était la cause, c’était plutôt la présence en moi d’un état d’esprit transitoire, avec lequel je m’étais représenté ma vie passée, mais qui avait en réalité en lui bien peu de choses du passé, et par contre beaucoup d’éléments empruntés à un état d’esprit différent que je n’avais connu que depuis peu de jours et qui allait, lui, en durer peu.”

(Note: This passage is taken from “Du côté de chez Swann,” the first volume of “À la recherche du temps perdu.”)


1. Wow, ChatGPT is so friendly and cool, it wasn’t offended at all!

2. My French must have really deteriorated because this feels so hard to read.

3. I guess I forgot how boring Proust can be.

4. Damn this quote is boring.

5. It says “ne m’offraient aucun détail intéressant” [“didn’t offer me a single interesting detail”] … and that’s kind of how I feel about the quote!

6. I guess I was pretty naive and literal-minded to look for words like amourécrire, and/or nouveaux. Proust probably uses more sophisticated synonyms or metaphors.

7. None of this feels familiar at all.

8. I wish I had read Proust in French when I was studying literature in graduate school. Why was I so lazy in my 20s?

9. I guess I was too busy being in love.

10. God, I was so dumb.

11. Yeah, but it was also structural.

12. Whatever, I’m going to put the quote in Google Translate.

13. Good Lord, or should I say Bon Dieu, this is so boring I might actually die.

14. I had been thinking Google Translate was getting good enough with European languages to replace human translators, but I guess it still isn’t at the level of translating Proust.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

Amazon is encouraging sellers to use AI-generated product listings

From engadget:

Amazon is launching a new AI tool that generates product listings for sellers. The feature uses a large language model (LLM) “trained on large amounts of data” to make it faster and simpler for vendors to describe their products. The company describes the tool as distilling the “significant work” of creating titles, bullet points and descriptions down to “just one step.”

Amazon says its Generative Listing Content tool only requires sellers to provide a brief product description in a few words or sentences. From there, it will “generate high-quality content for their review” — including a title, product description and bullet points — which sellers can peruse before refining or submitting as is. The company says many sellers have already tested the tool during the last few months, and their feedback indicates most of them use the generated content directly without revisions.

“These new capabilities will help sellers create high-quality listings with less effort and present customers with more complete, consistent, and engaging product information that will enhance their shopping experiences,” Amazon VP Mary Beth Westmoreland wrote today in an announcement blog post.

. . . .

“With our new generative AI models, we can infer, improve, and enrich product knowledge at an unprecedented scale and with dramatic improvement in quality, performance, and efficiency,” Robert Tekiela, Amazon VP of selection and catalog systems, wrote today. “Our models learn to infer product information through the diverse sources of information, latent knowledge, and logical reasoning that they learn. For example, they can infer a table is round if specifications list a diameter or infer the collar style of a shirt from its image.”

The new tool joins Amazon’s AI-generated review summaries, launched earlier this summer. That feature uses generative AI to train on a product’s reviews and spit out one-paragraph recaps, including clickable keywords. The company teases that it’s still getting started with incorporating generative AI into its storefront: “This is just the tip of the iceberg on how we plan to use AI to help improve the seller experience and help more sellers succeed.” CEO Andy Jassy said last month that, from now on, generative AI “is going to be at the heart of what we do.”

Link to the rest at engadget

OpenAI disputes authors’ claims that every ChatGPT response is a derivative work

From Ars Technica:

This week, OpenAI finally responded to a pair of nearly identical class-action lawsuits from book authors—including Sarah Silverman, Paul Tremblay, Mona Awad, Chris Golden, and Richard Kadrey—who earlier this summer alleged that ChatGPT was illegally trained on pirated copies of their books.

In OpenAI’s motion to dismiss (filed in both lawsuits), the company asked a US district court in California to toss all but one claim alleging direct copyright infringement, which OpenAI hopes to defeat at “a later stage of the case.”

The authors’ other claims—alleging vicarious copyright infringement, violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), unfair competition, negligence, and unjust enrichment—need to be “trimmed” from the lawsuits “so that these cases do not proceed to discovery and beyond with legally infirm theories of liability,” OpenAI argued.

OpenAI claimed that the authors “misconceive the scope of copyright, failing to take into account the limitations and exceptions (including fair use) that properly leave room for innovations like the large language models now at the forefront of artificial intelligence.”

According to OpenAI, even if the authors’ books were a “tiny part” of ChatGPT’s massive data set, “the use of copyrighted materials by innovators in transformative ways does not violate copyright.” Unlike plagiarists who seek to directly profit off distributing copyrighted materials, OpenAI argued that its goal was “to teach its models to derive the rules underlying human language” to do things like help people “save time at work,” “make daily life easier,” or simply entertain themselves by typing prompts into ChatGPT.

The purpose of copyright law, OpenAI argued, is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” by protecting the way authors express ideas, but “not the underlying idea itself, facts embodied within the author’s articulated message, or other building blocks of creative,” which are arguably the elements of authors’ works that would be useful to ChatGPT’s training model. Citing a notable copyright case involving Google Books, OpenAI reminded the court that “while an author may register a copyright in her book, the ‘statistical information’ pertaining to ‘word frequencies, syntactic patterns, and thematic markers’ in that book are beyond the scope of copyright protection.”

“Under the resulting judicial precedent, it is not an infringement to create ‘wholesale cop[ies] of [a work] as a preliminary step’ to develop a new, non-infringing product, even if the new product competes with the original,” OpenAI wrote.

In particular, OpenAI hopes to convince the court that the authors’ vicarious copyright infringement claim—which alleges that every ChatGPT output represents a derivative work, “regardless of whether there are any similarities between the output and the training works”— is an “erroneous legal conclusion.”

The company’s motion to dismiss cited “a simple response to a question (e.g., ‘Yes’),” or responding with “the name of the President of the United States” or with “a paragraph describing the plot, themes, and significance of Homer’s The Iliad” as examples of why every single ChatGPT output cannot seriously be considered a derivative work under authors’ “legally infirm” theory.

“That is not how copyright law works,” OpenAI argued, while claiming that any ChatGPT outputs that do connect to authors’ works are similar to “book reports or reviews.”

Link to the rest at Ars Technica

As PG has mentioned previously, he believes that using a relatively small amount of material protected by copyright along with far larger amounts of material not subject to copyright protection for the purpose of training an AI and not for the purpose of making copies of the copyrighted material qualifies as fair use.

Even absent fair use, such use is not a violation of copyright protection because the AI is not making copies of copyrighted materials.

PG has mentioned other analogies, but one that popped into his mind on this occasion is an author who reads hundreds of romance novels for the purpose of learning how to write a romance novel and then writes a romance novel using tropes and techniques that many other romance authors have used before.

From Wikipedia:

Precursors of the modern popular love-romance can also be found in the sentimental novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson, published in 1740. Pamela was the first popular novel to be based on a courtship as told from the perspective of the heroine. Unlike many of the novels of the time, Pamela had a happy ending.

. . . .

Women will pick up a romance novel knowing what to expect, and this foreknowledge of the reader is very important. When the hero and heroine meet and fall in love, maybe they don’t know they’re in love but the reader does. Then a conflict will draw them apart, but you know in the end they’ll be back together, and preferably married or planning to be by page 192.

Joan Schulhafer of Pocket Books, 1982

A great many of the most financially successful authors PG knows are romance authors.

Your Writing Superpower in a World of AI

From Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris:

I’ve been concerned about various threats from artificial intelligence for several years — threats to the economy, threats to our civil society, and even threats to human existence. I became even more alarmed about artificial intelligence when I discovered that AI systems are chronic, pathological liars.

In early 2023, I began using a “large language model” artificial intelligence system to research a nonfiction book project. It didn’t take long to discover that the AI was giving me wildly inaccurate information, again and again. I asked for citations and sources for the information it gave me—and it offered up authors, book titles, and web addresses that didn’t exist. I asked for quotations from specific scientists. The AI made up quotations the scientists had never said — and which sometimes contradicted their actual views.

When I pointed out these errors to the AI system, it admitted its mistakes, apologized for the “inconvenience”— then proceeded to dispense more misinformation. I later learned that AI developers see this behavior all the time. They have a name for it: “hallucinations.”

I found these interactions disturbing. They reminded me of the deviousness of HAL 9000 in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I wondered: Why do AI systems lie?

So I was inspired to write a novel about the AI extinction threat. I conceived it as a science fiction suspense tale with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. The novel took five weeks to write, and it was published in June 2023 as Its Name Is Legion: A Human Novel about Artificial Intelligence.

. . . .

As I pondered the possibilities, I found myself waking up several mornings in a row before dawn, my head was swimming with ideas. On February 19, 2023, I woke up at 5:40 and knew that I had to start writing.

That day, I produced 2,000 words, a good down-payment on Chapter 1. I wrote in my journal, “This book won’t let me sleep! It’s off to a good start. I’ve never begun a project with so much confidence.”

The next day, I finished Chapter 1 and launched into Chapter 2, a total of 3,100 words. I journaled, “Speed is increasing. A good sign.”

I completed the first draft on March 25, 2023, exactly five weeks after I began. It was not a long novel, about 50,000 words. But I felt inspired and energized the whole time.

Though I used to be an outliner, in recent years I’ve followed the wisdom of Ray Bradbury: “I’ve never been in charge of my stories, they’ve always been in charge of me. . . . Jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.”

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris

MPs criticise UK government’s handling of copyright policy related to AI

From The Guardian:

A group of MPs has criticised the government’s handling of a proposed copyright exemption that would allow developers of artificial intelligence free use of copyrighted books and music for training.

A culture, media and sport committee report published on Wednesday explained that the exemption was first proposed by the Intellectual Property Office in June 2022. By February, the government had changed course in response to concerns raised by the creative industries and parliamentarians: in a debate, Conservative MP George Freeman said that “we do not want to proceed with the original proposals”.

However, the committee report states that the government’s handling of the exemption “shows a clear lack of understanding of the needs of the UK’s creative industries”.

The MPs recommended that the government does not implement the exemption and said that it “risks reducing arts and cultural production as mere ‘inputs’ in AI development”.

“The chorus of warnings from musicians, authors and artists about the real and lasting harm [of] a failure to protect intellectual property in a world where the influence of AI is growing should be enough for ministers to sit up and take notice,” said committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

The MPs said that the current framework, which allows an exemption for text and data mining for non-commercial research purposes and allows creators to licence their work for any further purpose, “provides an appropriate balance between innovation and creator rights”.

The committee also recommended that the government work to rebuild trust after its “abortive attempt” to introduce the exemption. It must show that “it really understands where the creative industries are coming from and develop a copyright and regulatory regime that properly protects them as AI continues to disrupt traditional cultural production”, added Dame Dinenage.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the pirated works of thousands of authors including Zadie Smith, Stephen King and Rachel Cusk had been used to train generative AI models – tools that produce content based on patterns identified in sample texts.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

“AI Will Never Be Good Enough to Replace Real Authors” Is the Wrong Conversation

From BookRiot:

There are so many stories regarding AI right now that it feels like a five-alarm fire mixed with a Whac-A-Mole game.

. . . .

And no, it’s not a five-alarm fire. But it is the very important pocket of time wherein a thing needs some form of regulation before we are fully immersed in the consequences and everyone learns the hard way what the saying “you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” means.

AI (artificial intelligence) is defined as“the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” It is being used in a lot of industries in many ways, and it was already in use before all the recent headlines. So to be clear: what I am specifically talking about is the way AI is being used in place of writers, journalists, and other creatives, and in grifts like where a non-author tricks consumers into buying their AI word salad book instead of the intended author’s properly written book.

There are certain topics in the world of publishing that end up feeling like they just never stop being discussed, one being any version of “Who gets to write what book?” in response to when a writer writes — or is asking how to write — way out of their lane. The thing with that specific question is, as Alexander Chee perfectly explains, “the question is a Trojan horse, posing as reasonable artistic discourse when, in fact, many writers are not really asking for advice — they are asking if it is okay to find a way to continue as they have.”

I keep thinking about this every time (daily at this point) I see people — well-intentioned, I think — saying this isn’t a big deal and everything is fine, because AI will never be good enough to replace writers and authors (insert all creatives). Being that AI is just scrapping all the information that is already out there to toss it into a blender and output something “new,” I am not actually worried that it will ever be good enough to replace creatives. But that’s not the problem for me. While I get where this idea is coming from I feel it gives a very false sense of “It’ll be fine!” and “Don’t worry!” which keeps the conversations that should be had from happening.

Instead, we should be asking: Will those in power care that AI isn’t as good at creating what a human can create when their goal of using it is to not pay actual writers, authors, and creatives? Do scammers care that the “travel book” they put up on Amazon, “written” by AI is garbage that no consumer would knowingly pay for if their scam works into making the sale? If Amazon gets a cut of every sale from buyers unaware that the book they purchased isn’t the book they intended to buy, will they implement something to stop it? How time consuming is it going to be for very real people in publishing and media to have to weed out the flood of AI-generated submissions? How costly will it be for businesses to have to implement ways to spot, catch, and/or stop scammers using AI?

I deeply miss what Etsy used to be and I think a lot about how it went from being this incredible site dedicated to artists to no longer being that: “Etsy went public in 2015. Last year, the company reported annual revenue of nearly $2.6 billion — a more than 10 percent spike over the year prior. Among other issues, these creators see the increase in counterfeiters on the platform as a result of Etsy prioritizing growth over being able to enforce its standards.” It is yet another example that once again leads me to think that we shouldn’t focus on whether AI is, or ever will be, good enough to replace writers and authors.

Link to the rest at BookRiot

PG says that trying to regulate AI at this point in time is ridiculous.

AI research and development is extraordinarily important for national security and all aspects of health and health care.

Given these stakes, it will be a while before legislators and regulators get around to AI and authors.

Besides, absent a book’s creator admitting she/he used artificial intelligence to write a book, how is anyone going to know for certain whether the author used AI to assist in the creation of a book or parts of a book?

Whether an author used AI to create a first draft of a book, then edited the original manuscript to refine what the AI produced?

Whether an author wrote a detailed 50-page book outline to feed into an AI that created the manuscript?

The death of storytelling

From The Boston Globe:

In 1967, the French theorist Roland Barthes shook the foundations of literary criticism with a now-infamous essay entitled “The Death of the Author.” That essay, the bane of many an English major’s existence, rejected the idea that an author’s identity or even their intended meaning was relevant to understanding a text. Barthes’s aim was to liberate reading from the tyranny of authorship, to insist that a work of literature wasn’t the product of a single man or woman but rather the entire literary tradition that preceded them and shaped their writing. Literature, Barthes wrote, is “a web of citations” and a “trap where all identity is lost.”

The influence of “The Death of the Author” on literary culture was sweeping: For decades to come, critics and book reviewers generally kept questions of authorship at arm’s length, convinced that novels could be appreciated without excessive concern about who wrote them and what those writers intended their texts to mean or do.

In recent years, however, this long-standing critical consensus has come under assault. Thanks to brewing culture-war controversies around race and cultural appropriation, as well as recent anxieties about ChatGPT replacing Hollywood screenwriters, questions concerning who writes and who gets to write have returned to the center of mainstream discussions of literature and film.

It may seem as if these are separate concerns, but ChatGPT and identity politics are two sides of the same coin — both represent bankrupt versions of what literature is and is meant to do. We’re restricting what authors can write on the basis of their identity, and at the same time threatening to dissolve literature into machine babble. These two cultural forces are threatening the crucial function of fiction in our society.

Although we have grown used to the idea that actors should share the racial identity of the characters they portray on screen or stage, things get tangled when this notion drifts into the realm of literature. The backlash against Jeanine Cummins’s 2020 novel “American Dirt,” which generated explosive controversy owing to its white author’s depiction of Mexican immigrants, is only the highest-profile incident in these debates. Richard North Patterson recently courted much the same racial controversy with his new book, “Trial,” which features a black Georgia teenager as its main character.

Half a century after Barthes declared the death of the author, fraught conversations about literature and racial identity have complicated any efforts to consider writers in isolation from the characters they write.

Though it flies under the banner of progressive political sensibilities, this new racial orthodoxy — that white authors must write white characters, Black authors Black characters, and so on — assaults the very idea that it is possible to imagine human lives unlike one’s own.

One can do this poorly, of course. Some cross-identity depictions will inevitably be clumsy or even racist. But they should be judged on their literary merit. Instead, what we have now is “antiracism” by way of literary segregation — what Patterson recently called “redlining literature” — that reduces authors to mirrors who can do nothing but reflect their own lived experience. In this equation, readers are reduced to racial tourists.

This straitjacket betrays the promise — and premise — of fiction.

At the same time that these arguments over race and writing are producing growing discord about what it means to author literary fiction, Hollywood screenwriters are confronting another crisis of authorship: Human writers run the risk of being erased altogether.

That is the worry at the heart of the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as anxieties about ChatGPT replacing screenwriters have riled Hollywood. Experimental AI-produced trailers and commercials are already circulating — and yielding deeply unsettling results, as fireballs explode over backyard grill parties and faces seem to melt on screen. If tools like GEN-2 (which creates storyboards and even video from prompts) come into widespread use, this kind of weird effect could take the place of human creativity.

Most public conversation about the writers’ strikes has framed the threat of AI as a labor issue, with a few critics also lamenting that ChatGPT will likely produce television just as bad as the many bad novels it has produced.

What this discussion misses, however, is that what is at stake in this controversy over AI authorship is the same thing that is at stake in debates over authors and race: the very meaning of writing and the reason we consume it.

At the core of literature, television, and film is a kind of contract with the reader or viewer: Behind this novel or TV show, there is a human being like you from whose mind the work sprang. This contract holds that regardless of race or creed, regardless of differences in language or national origin, writers and those who consume writing can meet on a common ground and learn something about what it means to be human.

Writing produced by ChatGPT violates this basic contract, but its effect is the polar opposite of the identitarian straitjacket. Where rigid conceptions of race narrow our imaginative capacities, AI expands them — too much.

AI systems like ChatGPT rely on massive datasets. A trillion words, in which many novels were included, were fed into one version of ChatGPT for training. The late Cormac McCarthy famously observed that “books are made out of books,” by which he meant that anything an author writes reflects the influence of the previous authors they have read. The novel is never the product of only one human even if it has only one author: It reflects back to us every other genre, everyday speech, a panorama of our society. In this sense, ChatGPT might seem the ideal novelist, because the AI system has read almost everything. Yet while we would never accuse a novelist of being too well-read, this is precisely the problem with ChatGPT.

Link to the rest at The Boston Globe

AI Training Permission

From Hugh Howey:

A comment on my previous post about not using AI in my stories — and using the copyright page to make this explicit — is worth responding to in its own post, because I think it raises important issues.

The comment comes from Pat, who says:

I would think a better use of the Copyright would be to declare that no AI could be TRAINED on the copyrighted work. AI has no originality, it can only take in large quantities of material and try to splice it back together in a (usually) coherent manner. Declaring your works off-limits for AI to use as training material means AI will never be able to create “in the style of Hugh Howey” and limits the range of things AI can learn. If enough creative people do this, AI can’t learn from anything and won’t be able to create anything, at least outside places like Adobe where they own a zillion images copyrighted to themselves so they can do whatever they want with them.

Pat Augustine

I respect this opinion, and it is all very well-said, but I disagree with most of it and I’d love to explain why.

The idea that AI can be halted in its tracks if we prevent it from learning on copyrighted works misses the fact that there are more than enough works in the public domain to train LLMs.

Even if this weren’t so, I want AI trained on my work. I have a very positive view of AI. These models are, in a way, a distillation of our combined intelligence, our thoughts, our wisdom, our unique writing voices. I love being a part of that. I love that we are all contributing to it and building something that will certainly outlast us individually and may very well outlast us collectively.

When humans are extinct, our sun an old tired red giant, and what’s left of us is cruising among the stars, I like to think that some tiny sliver of me is out there intermingling with some tiny sliver of you. Even these words I’m typing right now. We are creating something very special, almost like a child of our every mind, and I think that’s amazing.

Also, guess what? You don’t have a choice. Legally. 70 years after you die, your works will become part of the public domain. The idea that AI is never allowed to be trained on your data is just wrong. It’s a matter of when. If you want to delay it as long as possible, awesome! Go for it. Just know that it’s a temporary thing.

The last thing I disagree with here (and the most important) is the claim that LLMs can’t be creative. I’ve played with LLMs enough to say this with complete confidence: what they do is similar enough to what we do that it’s a question of difference and not kind. If they aren’t creative, then we aren’t creative, and the word has no meaning. Today’s most advanced LLMs are definitely creative, and astoundingly so. They can generate new ideas never seen before. They aren’t just rearranging what’s already out there, they are “thinking” in much the same way that we “think.”

Link to the rest at Hugh Howey

PG says that Hugh is thinking quite clearly and rationally about AI.

The fact is that AI writing (and art, legal writing and a zillion other AI applications) is here to stay and will become more sophisticated over time. That said, PG predicts that quality authors and other creative professionals will continue to create unique and original work that will find an audience willing to pay to experience the benefits of a creative human mind.

Here’s a link to Hugh Howey’s books.

New York Times considers legal action against OpenAI as copyright tensions swirl

From National Public Radio:

The New York Times and OpenAI could end up in court.

Lawyers for the newspaper are exploring whether to sue OpenAI to protect the intellectual property rights associated with its reporting, according to two people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

For weeks, the Times and the maker of ChatGPT have been locked in tense negotiations over reaching a licensing deal in which OpenAI would pay the Times for incorporating its stories in the tech company’s AI tools, but the discussions have become so contentious that the paper is now considering legal action.

The individuals who confirmed the potential lawsuit requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

A lawsuit from the Times against OpenAI would set up what could be the most high-profile legal tussle yet over copyright protection in the age of generative AI.

A top concern for the Times is that ChatGPT is, in a sense, becoming a direct competitor with the paper by creating text that answers questions based on the original reporting and writing of the paper’s staff.

It’s a fear heightened by tech companies using generative AI tools in search engines. Microsoft, which has invested billions into OpenAI, is now powering its Bing search engine with ChatGPT.

If, when someone searches online, they are served a paragraph-long answer from an AI tool that refashions reporting from the Times, the need to visit the publisher’s website is greatly diminished, said one person involved in the talks.

So-called large language models like ChatGPT have scraped vast parts of the internet to assemble data that inform how the chatbot responds to various inquiries. The data-mining is conducted without permission. Whether hoovering up this massive repository is legal remains an open question.

If OpenAI is found to have violated any copyrights in this process, federal law allows for the infringing articles to be destroyed at the end of the case.

Link to the rest at National Public Radio

As PG has mentioned on a couple of previous occasions, he has doubts about the copyright infringement claims like the Times is asserting because, to the best of PG’s knowledge, no AI stores the original copyrighted works or is capable of reproducing them.

Instead, the contents of the Times plus a huge number of other texts are used to train the AI model, then deleted after training is complete. The AI can then utilize the ingested texts in order to come to an understanding of the meanings of the texts and use that understanding to create new expressions of knowledge as needed to respond to a wide range of queries and commands that individual users submit.

PG doesn’t think the AI can ever recreate the words of the original Times stories. The AI uses the information it has ingested to create new responses to tasks individual users want it to perform.

The analogy PG thinks is correct happens when he reads a story in the Times or elsewhere, then uses that knowledge to answer questions posed by others or to create other writings that don’t replicate the original Times articles and may include ideas, facts, etc. that he has picked up during his extensive reading of a large collection articles from a great many sources.

The AI boom: lessons from history

From The Economist:

It can take a little imagination to see how some innovations might change an economy. Not so with the latest ai tools. It is easy—from a writer’s perspective, uncomfortably so—to think of contexts in which something like Chatgpt, a clever chatbot which has taken the web by storm since its release in November, could either dramatically boost a human worker’s productivity or replace them outright. The gpt in its name stands for “generative pre-trained transformer”, which is a particular kind of language model. It might well stand for general-purpose technology: an earth-shaking sort of innovation which stands to boost productivity across a wide-range of industries and occupations, in the manner of steam engines, electricity and computing. The economic revolutions powered by those earlier gpts can give us some idea how powerful ai might transform economies in the years ahead.

In a paper published in 1995, Timothy Bresnahan of Stanford University and Manuel Trajtenberg of Tel Aviv University set out what they saw as the characteristics of a general-purpose technology. It must be used in many industries, have an inherent potential for continued improvement and give rise to “innovational complementarities”—that is, induce knock-on innovation in the industries which use it. ai is being adopted widely, seems to get better by the day and is being deployed in ever more r&d contexts. So when does the economic revolution begin?

The first lesson from history is that even the most powerful new tech takes time to change an economy. James Watt patented his steam engine in 1769, but steam power did not overtake water as a source of industrial horsepower until the 1830s in Britain and 1860s in America. In Britain the contribution of steam to productivity growth peaked post-1850, nearly a century after Watt’s patent, according to Nicholas Crafts of the University of Sussex. In the case of electrification, the key technical advances had all been accomplished before 1880, but American productivity growth actually slowed from 1888 to 1907. Nearly three decades after the first silicon integrated circuits Robert Solow, a Nobel-prizewinning economist, was still observing that the computer age could be seen everywhere but in the productivity statistics. It was not until the mid-1990s that a computer-powered productivity boom eventually emerged in America.

The gap between innovation and economic impact is in part because of fine-tuning. Early steam engines were wildly inefficient and consumed prohibitively expensive piles of coal. Similarly, the stunning performance of recent ai tools represents a big improvement over those which sparked a boomlet of ai enthusiasm roughly a decade ago. (Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, was released in 2011, for example.) Capital constraints can also slow deployment. Robert Allen of New York University Abu Dhabi argues that the languid rise in productivity growth in industrialising Britain reflected a lack of capital to build plants and machines, which was gradually overcome as capitalists reinvested their fat profits.

More recent work emphasises the time required to accumulate what is known as intangible capital, or the basic know-how needed to make effective use of new tech. Indeed, Erik Brynjolfsson of Stanford University, Daniel Rock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Chad Syverson of the University of Chicago suggest a disruptive new technology may be associated with a “productivity J-curve”. Measured productivity growth may actually decline in the years or decades after a new technology appears, as firms and workers divert time and resources to studying the tech and designing business processes around it. Only later as these investments bear fruit does the J surge upward. The authors reckon that ai-related investments in intangible capital may already be depressing productivity growth, albeit not yet by very much.

Of course for many people, questions about the effects of ai on growth take a back seat to concerns about consequences for workers. Here, history’s messages are mixed. There is good news: despite epochal technological and economic change, fears of mass technological unemployment have never before been realised. Tech can and does take a toll on individual occupations, however, in ways that can prove socially disruptive. Early in the Industrial Revolution, mechanisation dramatically increased demand for relatively unskilled workers, but crushed the earnings of craftsmen who had done much of the work before, which is why some chose to join machine-smashing Luddite movements. And in the 1980s and 1990s, automation of routine work on factory floors and in offices displaced many workers of modest means, while boosting employment for both high- and low-skilled workers.

Gee, Pretty Terrific

ai might well augment the productivity of workers of all different skill levels, even writers. Yet what that means for an occupation as a whole depends on whether improved productivity and lower costs lead to a big jump in demand or only a minor one. When the assembly line—a process innovation with gpt-like characteristics—allowed Henry Ford to cut the cost of making cars, demand surged and workers benefited. If ai boosts productivity and lowers costs in medicine, for example, that might lead to much higher demand for medical services and professionals.

Link to the rest at The Economist

Artificial Intelligence: Issues in a Hot Summer’s Debate

From Publishing Perspectives:

Heating up right along with international temperature gauges this summer, the issues around “artificial intelligence” and publishing seem to become more contentious weekly.

The United States’ Authors Guild updated its information on Wednesday (July 19) to say that more than 10,000 “writers and their supporters” have signed an open letter to CEOs of AI companies including OpenAI; Alphabet (parent of Google); Stability AI; IBM; and Microsoft.

As frequently happens in the Guild’s approach—which is not unlike that of many NGOs issuing their statements on various issues—there’s an impressive list of big names being rolled out here, the advocacy organization having attracted signatories including Dan Brown, James Patterson, Jennifer Egan, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, Roxane Gay, Celeste Ng, Louise Erdrich, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and George Saunders.

At the core of this protest is a very real alarm that the source material on which a large language model might be “trained”—the texts used in advanced statistical algorithms’ collection of linguistic content patterns—may well be copyrighted works. Franzen is quoted by the Guild saying that the organization is “advanc[ing] the rights of all Americans whose data and words and images are being exploited, for immense profit, without their consent—in other words, pretty much all Americans over the age of six.”

Certainly on its face, this copyright challenge is immediately and urgently part of a deepening and widening body of alarm now being reflected by elements the actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood. While writers’ vulnerability might be closer to that of the writing corps in book publishing, the parallel threat to actors is unmistakable: their likenesses and voices can be artificially captured and manipulated, giving the broader AI controversy an easily understood visual component. The crisis of residual payments from many streamers may be the immediate money-ask in those labor actions, but as Andrew Dalton has written for the Associated Press, “Artificial intelligence has surged to the forefront of Hollywood’s labor fights. … The technology has pushed negotiations into unknown territory, and the language used can sound utopian or dystopian depending on the side of the table.”

At a national governmental level, in the States on Friday (July 21), Cat Zakrzewski writes at the Washington Post, “the Biden White House on Friday took its most ambitious step to date to address the safety concerns and risks of artificial intelligence, announcing that seven of the most influential companies building AI have agreed to a voluntary pledge to mitigate the risks of the emerging technology, escalating the White House’s involvement in an increasingly urgent debate over AI regulation.”

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

Authors Join the Brewing Legal Battle Over AI

From Publisher’s Weekly:

Authors have now joined the growing ranks of concerned creators suing tech developers over their much-hyped generative AI technology. And a pair of copyright class action suits recently filed on behalf of authors is raising broader questions about the most effective way to protect creators and creative industries—including authors and publishers—from the potentially disruptive aspects of AI.

Filed on June 28 and July 7 by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on behalf of five named plaintiffs (Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay in one case, and Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey, and comedian Sarah Silverman in the other), the suits claim that Microsoft-backed OpenAI (creators of ChatGPT) and Meta (creators of LLaMA) infringed the authors’ copyrights by using unauthorized copies of their books to train their AI models, including copies allegedly scraped from notorious pirate sites. While the authors’ attorneys did not comment for this story, a spokesperson for the firm suggested to Ars Technica that, if left unchecked, AI models built with “stolen works” could eventually replace the authors they stole from, and framed the litigation as part of “a larger fight for preserving ownership rights for all artists and creators.”

The authors join a spectrum of increasingly concerned creators on whose behalf the Saveri law firm has filed similar copyright-based lawsuits in recent months. In November 2022, the firm filed suit against GitHub on behalf of a group of software developers. And in January, the firm sued three AI image generators on behalf of a group of artists. Those cases are still pending—and, like most copyright cases involving new technology, they have divided copyright experts. Those who lean in favor of the tech side claim that using unlicensed copyrighted works to train AI is fair use. Those on the content creator side argue that questions of ownership and provenance cannot simply be waved away without major, far-reaching implications.

Neither Meta nor OpenAI has yet responded to the author suits. But multiple copyright lawyers told PW on background that the claims likely face an uphill battle in court. Even if the suits get past the threshold issues associated with the alleged copying at issue and how AI training actually works—which is no sure thing—lawyers say there is ample case law to suggest fair use. For example, a recent case against plagiarism detector held that works could be ingested to create a database used to expose plagiarism by students. The landmark Kelly v. Arriba Soft case held that the reproduction and display of photos as thumbnails was fair use. And, in the publishing industry’s own backyard, there’s the landmark Google Books case. One lawyer noted that if Google’s bulk copying and display of tens of millions of books was comfortably found to be fair use, it’s hard to see how using books to train AI would not be, while also cautioning that fair use cases are notoriously fact-dependent and hard to predict.

“I just don’t see how these cases have legs,” one copyright lawyer bluntly told PW. “Look, I get it. Somebody has to make a test case. Otherwise there’s nothing but blogging and opinion pieces and stance-taking by proponents on either side. But I just think there’s too much established case law to support this kind of transformative use as a fair use.”

Cornell Law School professor James Grimmelmann—who has written extensively on the Google case and is now following AI developments closely—is also skeptical that the authors’ infringement cases can succeed, and concurred that AI developers have some “powerful precedents” to rely on. But he is also “a little more sympathetic in principle” to the idea that some AI models may be infringing. “The difference between AI and Google Books is that some AI models could emit infringing works, whereas snippet view in Google Books was designed to prevent output infringement,” he said. “That inflects the fair use analysis, although there are still a lot of factors pointing to transformative use.”

Whether the AI in question was trained using illegal copies from pirate sites could also be a complicating factor, Grimmelmann said. “There’s an orthodox copyright analysis that says if the output is not infringing, a transformative internal process is fair use,” he explained. Nevertheless, some courts will consider the source, he added, noting that the allegedly “unsavory origins” of the copies could factor into a court’s fair use analysis.

Link to the rest at Publisher’s Weekly

AI Writing

PG got to feeling a bit better as the day commenced and decided to try Microsoft’s browser, Edge, with Microsoft’s version of AI included.

PG’s prompt was as follows:

synopsis of Pride and Prejudice, including issues of class

Here’s what MS AI produced (with paragraph breaks inserted by PG):

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen that explores the complex social relations among the landed gentry in early 19th-century England. The main plot revolves around the romance between Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited and intelligent young woman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy and proud aristocrat who initially disdains Elizabeth and her family.

Through a series of misunderstandings, misjudgments, and revelations, Elizabeth and Darcy overcome their pride and prejudice and eventually acknowledge their mutual love and respect. Along the way, they also confront the obstacles posed by their different social positions, as well as the interference of their families and friends.

The novel also depicts the lives and marriages of Elizabeth’s four sisters, Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, who each face their own challenges in finding happiness and security in a society that values wealth, rank, and propriety over character, affection, and individuality.

PG then asked MS AI to add more details to the plot and this is what happened (with PG’s manually-inserted paragraph breaks):

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen that explores the complex social relations among the landed gentry in early 19th-century England.

The main plot revolves around the romance between Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited and intelligent young woman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy and proud aristocrat who initially disdains Elizabeth and her family. Elizabeth meets Darcy at a ball where he snubs her, while his friend Bingley is smitten with her sister Jane. Elizabeth is further prejudiced against Darcy when she hears from Wickham, a charming officer, that Darcy cheated him out of his inheritance.

Darcy, however, gradually falls in love with Elizabeth’s wit and beauty, and surprises her with a proposal of marriage, which she rejects, accusing him of separating Bingley and Jane, and mistreating Wickham.

Darcy then writes a letter to Elizabeth, explaining his actions and revealing Wickham’s true character. Elizabeth realizes that she has been too hasty and prideful in her judgments, and begins to admire Darcy’s sense of honor and generosity.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are dazzled by the militia officers stationed in their town, especially by Wickham, who elopes with Lydia, putting the Bennet family’s reputation at risk. Darcy secretly intervenes to find the couple and force Wickham to marry Lydia, thus saving the Bennets from disgrace.

Elizabeth learns of Darcy’s involvement from his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who visits Longbourn to dissuade Elizabeth from marrying Darcy, as she has planned a match between him and her own daughter. Elizabeth refuses to comply, and asserts her equal worth and right to love whom she chooses.

Darcy is delighted by Elizabeth’s spirited defense of their relationship, and renews his proposal, which she accepts with joy. Jane and Bingley also reunite and marry, and the novel ends with a happy resolution for the two couples who have overcome their pride and prejudice.

Then PG asked the AI to include more about the social consequences of Lydia’s elopement and added paragraph breaks.

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen that explores the complex social relations among the landed gentry in early 19th-century England. The main plot revolves around the romance between Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited and intelligent young woman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy and proud aristocrat who initially disdains Elizabeth and her family. Elizabeth meets Darcy at a ball where he snubs her, while his friend Bingley is smitten with her sister Jane. Elizabeth is further prejudiced against Darcy when she hears from Wickham, a charming officer, that Darcy cheated him out of his inheritance.

Darcy, however, gradually falls in love with Elizabeth’s wit and beauty, and surprises her with a proposal of marriage, which she rejects, accusing him of separating Bingley and Jane, and mistreating Wickham. Darcy then writes a letter to Elizabeth, explaining his actions and revealing Wickham’s true character. Elizabeth realizes that she has been too hasty and prideful in her judgments, and begins to admire Darcy’s sense of honor and generosity.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are dazzled by the militia officers stationed in their town, especially by Wickham, who elopes with Lydia, putting the Bennet family’s reputation at risk.

Lydia’s elopement is a major crisis in the novel, as it threatens to ruin not only her own prospects of marriage, but also those of her sisters. In the society of that time, living together without marriage was considered a scandalous and disgraceful act that would result in social ostracism and loss of respectability. Lydia’s behavior also reflects poorly on her parents’ upbringing and exposes their lack of discipline and boundaries.

Lydia herself is oblivious to the consequences of her actions, and thinks only of her own importance and pleasure. She does not care about the feelings or opinions of her family or friends, nor does she show any gratitude or remorse for the trouble she has caused.

Darcy secretly intervenes to find the couple and force Wickham to marry Lydia, thus saving the Bennets from disgrace. Elizabeth learns of Darcy’s involvement from his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who visits Longbourn to dissuade Elizabeth from marrying Darcy, as she has planned a match between him and her own daughter.

Elizabeth refuses to comply, and asserts her equal worth and right to love whom she chooses. Darcy is delighted by Elizabeth’s spirited defense of their relationship, and renews his proposal, which she accepts with joy. Jane and Bingley also reunite and marry, and the novel ends with a happy resolution for the two couples who have overcome their pride and prejudice.

PG thinks that, while he wouldn’t recommend the current iteration of Bing AI writing for a Ph.D. thesis, it would be a big help for a lot of middle and high school students.

This does raise interesting plagiarism and honesty issues regarding schoolwork produced by Bing. PG wonders whether using the Bing AI for a first draft, then making significant student-created modifications and additions to that draft before turning in the final paper.

PG was going to run the Bing AI output through Grammarly, which is also advertising AI features, but ran out of time and energy.

He does wonder what the problem is with Microsoft’s AI entering paragraph breaks in its output, however.

WGGB publishes policy position on risks and benefits of AI

FromThe Bookseller:

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, WGGB, has published Writers and AI, a policy position statement outlining the challenges caused by AI and the risks that go with it, as well as the potential benefits of AI.

The statement was released in response to the union’s recent survey, which revealed that 65% of 500 respondents believed the increased use of AI will reduce their income from writing, while 61% were worried that AI could replace jobs in their craft areas.

The survey came on top of an early impact assessment by OpenAI which indicated that the exposure risk to poets, lyricists and creative writers was amongst the highest, at 68.8%.

Additionally, a recent report by KPMG, Generative AI and the UK Labour Market estimated that 43% of the tasks associated with authors, writers and translators could be automated, with humans “fine tuning” machine output.

The policy position statement published in response to the data addresses various ongoing concerns about AI. These include decreased job opportunities for writers, the suppression of writer pay, infringements of copyright and the use of writers’ work without their permission, plus lack of adequate regulation from the government.

The statement says: “While the AI systems are not yet sophisticated enough to produce works which accurately mimic the standard of writing produced by professional writers, this is a likely future scenario.

However, the WGGB does not believe that AI will be able to replicate the originality, authenticity, enthusiasm and humanity that professional writers put into their storytelling.”

. . . .

The policy position statement makes a number of recommendations, which will be used to inform the union’s lobbying and campaigning work. It outlines that AI developers should only use writers’ work if they have been given express permission to do so, reflecting the view of 80% of respondents to the WGGB survey.

In addition, the statement outlines that AI developers should maintain “clear and accessible” logs of the information used to train their tool to allow writers to check if their work has been used. Where content has been generated or decisions have been made by AI and not a human being, it adds that this needs to be clearly labelled as such.

The statement goes on to outline that where AI has been used to create content, developers should appropriately credit the authors whose work has been used to create such content. It adds that writers should also be fairly compensated when developers use their work.

Meanwhile, 59% of respondents to the WGGB AI survey reported believing that a new, independent regulator should be set up to oversee and monitor the expansion of AI. The union echoes this position in the statement, saying it “believes the government should set up a new regulatory body whose remits specifically covers AI, applicable to all future and previous AI development work, so that writers and others are able to assert their rights regarding work which has already been used without their knowledge or permission”.

The government should not allow any copyright exceptions to allow text and data mining for commercial purposes, the statement adds, as this would allow AI developers to “scrape writers’ work form online sources, without permission or payment”.

It also outlines that there should be “clear, accessible and affordable” routes for writers to challenge the practices of AI developers and bring claims regarding the use of their work.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

PG’s response to the OP: “In your dreams.”

As PG has mentioned previously, he believes that the use of writings of all sorts to train an AI is not a violation of the copyright of the creators of those writings.

“Inspired by” creations have never, to the best of PG’s knowledge, been regarded as violations of the copyright of those who created the source of the inspiration. Copying and republishing the original in whole or in substantial part is what triggers the right of the original creator to assert a violation of copyright protection.

The development of artificial intelligence systems is taking place all over the world. If Britain slows down its AI efforts (keeping detailed and accessible logs of each work used, in whole or in part, to prime the creation) at the request of traditional publishing and some of its authors, researchers in other nations will move forward and Britain will be left behind.

PG recalls some of the words of the British poet, Stephen Spender:

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit, clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious, is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog, the flowering of the spirit.

PG can’t imagine anyone criticizing Spender’s expressed obsessions or claiming that his thoughts of other creators and their works meant that Spender could not use such thoughts and works to create something of his own.

Six Useful CHATGPT Prompts for Fiction Writers

From Almost an Author:

Writing can be a solitary journey. But what if you had a companion to guide you, to help you when you’re stuck, to inspire you when your creativity needs a boost? That’s where ChatGPT comes in.

While many authors frown upon the idea of trusting artificial intelligence with their writing, it can be a helpful tool to facilitate your creative process without losing your unique voice.

Even though there are enough examples of books written with ChatGPT lately, we won’t talk about making AI write for you. Instead, we’ll cover a bunch of useful tasks you can give ChatGPT in order to nudge your creative flow whenever you feel lost.

Yes, weaving AI into your writing routine might appear challenging, and you indeed need to understand the basics of prompt engineering to ask the right questions. So let this article be your guide, demonstrating how AI can make life easier for fiction writers.

Here are six things ChatGPT can do to assist in your book-writing process:

1. Generate story ideas

Ever felt stuck while brainstorming new story ideas? ChatGPT can act as your virtual ideation partner, providing fresh perspectives and novel concepts to kickstart your creativity and expand your imaginative horizons.

ChatGPT prompt example: I’m writing a novel set in a post-apocalyptic world with elements of science fiction. Suggest ten unique storylines that revolve around a group of survivors, their struggles, and the mysteries of this new world they must explore.

2. Assist in character development

ChatGPT prompt example: Help me further develop a character for my mystery novel. Her name is Jane, a private detective in her late thirties with a keen sense of intuition, a dark past, and a stubborn nature. I need more details on her backstory, personality traits, and possible character growth.

3. Get you unstuck during plot building

Navigating the labyrinth of plot building is no longer a daunting process. ChatGPT can aid in constructing compelling plot lines, helping to fill in the gaps and resolve narrative complexities, ensuring your story remains gripping from start to finish.

ChatGPT prompt example: I’m stuck with a plot point in my fantasy novel. My protagonists are trapped in a magical labyrinth filled with deadly traps and mythical creatures. I need a creative and coherent strategy for their escape that ties into the magic system of the novel.

Link to the rest at Almost an Author

Chat GPT on Self-Publishing Via KDP Earn More Money

PG gave ChatGPT the following prompt:

write a 500 word article about why authors who are publishing using Amazon KDP earn more money than authors who publish through established publishers

Here’s what showed up on his screen:

Title: The Amazon KDP Advantage: Why Self-Published Authors Earn More Money


In the rapidly evolving world of publishing, authors now have more opportunities than ever to share their work with the world. Traditional publishing houses have long been seen as gatekeepers, controlling access to the literary market. However, with the advent of self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), authors now have the chance to take control of their careers and potentially earn more money. This article will explore the reasons why authors who publish using Amazon KDP often enjoy higher earnings compared to those who choose established publishers.

  1. Greater Royalties

One of the primary reasons why authors utilizing Amazon KDP have the potential to earn more money is the royalty structure. Traditional publishing contracts typically offer authors royalty rates ranging from 8% to 15% of the book’s cover price. Conversely, Amazon KDP allows authors to earn up to 70% in royalties for eBooks priced within a specific range. This substantial difference in royalty rates significantly impacts an author’s earnings, particularly in the digital age where eBook sales are flourishing.

  1. Direct Control and Flexibility

Self-published authors using Amazon KDP have complete control over their work, including pricing, cover design, and marketing strategies. This control enables authors to experiment with pricing strategies, run promotional campaigns, and make changes to their books at any time. Traditional publishing often involves relinquishing these decisions to publishing houses, limiting an author’s ability to adapt to market demands swiftly. The freedom and flexibility offered by KDP allows authors to be more responsive to readers’ preferences and optimize their earning potential.

  1. Global Reach and Market Accessibility

Amazon, being a global online marketplace, provides unparalleled reach to authors publishing through KDP. It has a massive customer base that extends across multiple countries, making it easier for authors to tap into international markets. Traditional publishers often focus on specific regions or territories, limiting an author’s potential readership and earning opportunities. With Amazon KDP, authors can target a global audience and potentially gain exposure to millions of readers worldwide, thereby increasing their earning potential.

  1. High Digital Demand and Accessibility

In recent years, the demand for eBooks has surged, fueled by the rise in e-readers, tablets, and smartphones. Amazon dominates the eBook market with its Kindle devices and app, providing a seamless reading experience to millions of users. As a result, self-published authors on KDP can capitalize on this growing digital demand. Additionally, eBooks have advantages like lower production costs and the ability to reach readers instantly, enhancing an author’s potential earnings.

  1. Enhanced Marketing and Discoverability

Amazon KDP offers various tools and promotional opportunities to help authors market their books effectively. These include Kindle Countdown Deals, Kindle Free Promotions, and the ability to participate in Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service for readers. These features can significantly boost an author’s visibility and attract new readers, leading to higher sales and earnings. In contrast, established publishers may not dedicate the same level of marketing support to every author in their catalog.


While traditional publishing still holds its value and allure, the rise of Amazon KDP has revolutionized the publishing landscape. Through KDP, authors have gained the ability to publish independently, retaining greater control over their work and potentially earning higher incomes. The platform’s favorable royalty structure, global reach, marketing tools, and the growing demand for digital books all contribute to the financial advantage enjoyed by authors who publish using Amazon KDP. As the publishing industry continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly clear that self-publishing platforms like KDP can provide authors with lucrative opportunities and a path to success.

PG invites opinions, disagreements, alternate (polite) contentions, discussions of errors in reasoning, items that should have been discussed (within the 500 word article limit), etc., etc. PG does admit that Chat GPT went 99 words over the 500 word article request, but PG didn’t see a lot of wasted wordage.

I was fired by a client for using AI. I’m not going to stop because it’s doubled my output, but I’m more clear about how I use it.

From Insider:

I work a full-time job in marketing and do freelance writing on the side. 

I was juggling a lot when a longtime client commissioned me for a three-month project. It entailed writing a series of how-to guides and 56 articles for their site.

Since I couldn’t clone myself, I tried what I thought would be the next best thing: I used AI.

Convinced that I could use the new technology to meet extremely tight deadlines, I started using to produce up to 20 pieces in a month for this client.

. . . .

I was using AI to clone myself as a writer

I essentially used as an extension of myself.

I’d let Jasper write articles of up to 2,500 words. I used it more than alternatives such as ChatGPT or Bard because it has pre-built templates that function as prompts. 

If I needed to expand on a sentence, I’d use Jasper’s “paragraph generator” or “commands” tool. If I needed to rewrite a sentence, I’d click on “content improver.” These features helped me overcome writer’s block and quickly build out long-form articles.

Jasper did most of the work and I did minimal editing.

After working together for months, my client started using one of the first AI-content detectors. Upon discovering the content I gave them was AI-generated, they terminated our agreement and paid me less than 40% of the original fee after I’d delivered all the articles we’d agreed on.

While this was not the outcome I intended, it shifted my mindset on how to use AI to keep clients rather than lose them.

I learned a valuable lesson the hard way — AI is a tool, not something that should replace you.

Looking back, I know things weren’t right when I was letting AI do the work and not communicating this to my client.

. . . .

Here’s how I use AI differently now:

AI is now a crucial part of my initial discussions with new clients

I ask if the client’s OK with me using AI-writing tools. If not, great; I won’t use it. If they see the value or don’t care whether I use them, then I’ll use them to enhance the quality and depth of what I write.

I use AI to enhance my draft

Some writers use AI to write a draft, then edit it to sound more human. I use it the other way around.

I draft the article first, then use an AI tool to enhance it and ensure I’ve maintained the client’s tone of voice. 

I’d typically beef a draft up with some of Jasper’s templates — using the paragraph generator to expand a sentence into a paragraph, or using the content improver to rewrite text based on tone of voice or type of content. 

Sometimes, Jasper will tell me additional things I can cover, so I’ll include them and support them with expert insights and examples.

I use AI to give me ideas on sources and statistics

Similarly to ChatGPT, Jasper is vulnerable to making mistakes with sources and research; its developers remind users to fact-check any statistics the tool provides. I regard the information it gives as a placeholder that gives me ideas for the kinds of sources, statistics, or websites I can seek out myself. 

The key is always treating statistics and other hard evidence that AI produces as a suggestion.

AI helps with the tone of voice and brand voice

I’ll use Jasper to help me rewrite or add flair to a sentence using the “tone of voice” or “brand voice” features. I could even type in “Ryan Reynolds” and Jasper will rewrite a plain paragraph to sound like the actor.

AI helps with condensing large volumes of text

AI helps me summarize my research findings and insights from relevant subject-matter experts. I’ll upload snippets of a transcript, and the tool will return a condensed paragraph that still includes the salient points.

AI has cut my writing time in half

Link to the rest at Insider

Germany’s ContentShift Accelerator: Six 2023 Finalists

From Publishing Perspectives:

Earlier this month, as you’ll recall, we reported the Top 10 start-ups chosen by Germany’s eighth international ContentShift accelerator program for book-publishing-related companies.

Today (June 28), the Börsenvereinsgruppe has announced the six shortlisted finalists, which will go into competition for the program’s conclusion.

All of this culminates in a winning start-up, which will receive €10,000 euros (US$10,900). And all participating start-ups have exclusive access to members of the program’s jury, which comprises decision-makers from the book industry. Jurors provide the start-ups with advice, support, and contacts during three intensive workshop days in September.

The jury then will decide who is to become “Start-up of the Year 2023,” after a public pitch round on October 19 of that top five at Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22).

ContentShift’s 2023 Finalists
  • Bookscreener from LeReTo offers an interactive, multi-disciplinary research and book tool that can make publishers’ specialist book inventory accessible. With interactive elements, it should make research for specialist knowledge more enjoyable.
  • GoLexic offers a children’s reading promotional app that can be used at home or at school. The app allows children to work independently through 15-minute training sessions, working on skills that help improve reading and spelling.
  • Lit-X makes literature success transparent and predictable based on data. For this purpose, the start-up offers dashboards and applications such as “trend scouting” and “pricing.” For example, publishers can take a look at the success drivers of a genre, compare them, and calculate probabilities of success by modifying factors.
  • Summ AI describes itself as “Google Translate for easy language”: The AI-based tool translates complicated text into “easy language” defined in the area of ​​accessibility, for example creating texts with shorter sentences, an “easy” choice of words, and accessible explanations.
  • To Teach, Thea’s platform, uses AI to enable educational providers to digitize and enrich analog content easily, to create digital content, and to play it out to a target group. The platform helps with the creation of exercises, as well as with worksheets and other teaching materials consisting of text, audio, and gamification.
  • XigXag has developed an app that combines listening and reading concepts along with a social platform. Listeners can switch between listening and reading for a single fee. They also get access to note-taking, quote sharing, word and illustration lookups, and community.

Speaking for the panel, jury spokesperson Per Dalheimer of Hugendubel is quoted today, saying, “This year’s six finalists cover key, forward-looking fields within the book industry.

“Each one of them brings new impulses to the table, including the fostering of reading skills, greater accessibility, and information processing.

“Their use of artificial intelligence as a kind of turbo booster helps to break down barriers and enable easier, lower-threshold access to books. We’re delighted about the incredible range of creative ideas made visible by the accelerator every year. Each one helps to drive our industry further.”

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

PG routinely removes any links from items he excerpts. In this case he didn’t because he found some of the product descriptions interesting and thought others might find some or all of the startups interesing.

5 Best (and Worst) AI Poem Generators

From TweetSpeak:

These days, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do just about anything! It can even draw pictures.

What AI has a little more trouble with, however, is creating poems. Still, that doesn’t stop the AI writers of the world from making their valiant attempts. Here are the best (and worst) AI poem generators.

Let’s see how each one does on the perennial topic of Hades and Persephone…

1. Sonnet Generator

This sonnet generator claims to “take the ‘I’ out of iambic pentameter!” All you have to do is fill in a couple of boxes with words, and the generator will do the rest. (The same site can also generate haiku, villanelles, didactic cinquains, rhyming couplets, limericks, acrostics, tanka, narrative poems, and concrete poems).

Ode to the Hades
A Sonnet by Anonymous

The Yellow Wall-Paper Graphic Novel cropped cover

My wonder hades, you inspire me to write.
How I hate the way you gaze, throne and dash,
Invading my mind day and through the night,
Always dreaming about the whisper pash.

Let me compare you to a sere clover?
You are more quiet, create and serene.
Lead storms whip the twiglets of October,
And autumntime has the whispering lean.

How do I hate you? Let me count the ways.
I hate your cthonic, shroud and narcissus.
Thinking of your crafting shroud fills my days.
My hate for you is the paper electrophoresis.

Now I must away with an under heart,
Remember my red words whilst we’re apart.

2. Verse by Verse

Next on the list of artificial intelligence that would love to rule the world is Google! Pick up to three poets’ styles for it to emulate, create a rhyme scheme and syllable count and write a first line, and watch it come up with suggestions for the rest.

Self-described as “an experimental AI-powered muse that helps you compose poetry inspired by classic American poets,” how does the best search engine around fare on its foray into AI poetry generators? You decide.

Hades, deep in the Shadowed Underneath
Filled with alabaster air,
Drowning the voice of the rain,
Laid my hand around my chair.

Saw a dawn, his golden beam,
Hold me now! A single clause!
Pale gold on a naked moon,
Pale gold on a throne of gold.

—Google, inspired by Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, and Edgar Allan Poe

Link to the rest at TweetSpeak

Phony ChatGPT Brief Leads to $5,000 Fine for NY Lawyers

From Bloomberg Law:

The lawyers behind a court brief filled with phony case citations dreamed up by ChatGPT were fined $5,000 after a federal judge found they’d acted in bad faith.

US District Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed the fine Thursday on the law firm Levidow, Levidow & Oberman P.C., finding that two of the firm’s lawyers had consciously avoided indications that the citations were fake and made “misleading statements to the court.”

The firm and the lawyers, Steven Schwartz and Peter LoDuca, “abandoned their responsibilities when they submitted non-existent judicial opinions with fake quotes and citations created by the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, then continued to stand by the fake opinions after judicial orders called their existence into question,” Castel said in a written opinion.

A phone call seeking comment from the law firm wasn’t immediately returned.

Schwartz and LoDuca filed the brief on behalf of Roberto Mata, a client who claimed he’d been injured on a 2019 flight from El Salvador to New York. Castel imposed the fine following a June 8 hearing in which he questioned Schwartz, LoDuca and Levidow’s sole equity partner, Thomas Corvino, about the faulty court filing.

Castel on Thursday also threw out Mata’s suit, ruling it was filed too late.

In addition to the fine, Castel ordered the lawyers to send his opinion and a transcript of the June 8 hearing to Mata and to each of the judges falsely identified as authors of six fictitious court opinions cited in the brief.

“The Court will not require an apology from respondents because a compelled apology is not a sincere apology,” Castel said in his ruling. “Any decision to apologize is left to respondents.”

The case is Mata v. Avianca, 22-cv-01461, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Link to the rest at Bloomberg Law

PG suggests that counsel for the plaintiff, Schwartz and LoDuca, got off easy in court. with a $5,000 fine.

An AI Cease-and-Desist Letter

PG decided to ask ChatGPT to write a cease-and-desist letter to someone who is stealing PG’s writing and selling it as his own, a fanciful thought if ever there was one.

PG’s prompt: Write a multi-paragraph cease-and-desist letter to John Smith, an author who is stealing my writing and selling it as his own.

The result:

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

John Smith
[City, State, ZIP Code]

Subject: Cease and Desist Copyright Infringement

Dear Mr. Smith,

I hope this letter finds you well. However, it has come to my attention that you have been engaged in a serious act of intellectual property infringement. It has been brought to my notice that you have been unlawfully reproducing, distributing, and selling written material that I have authored, thereby infringing upon my exclusive rights as the copyright holder. This unauthorized use of my work is a clear violation of applicable copyright laws.

I am the sole owner and creator of the written content in question, which includes [specific titles or descriptions of the work(s)]. These works are protected by copyright law under the [Copyright Registration Number, if applicable] and are subject to the provisions outlined in the United States Copyright Act [Title 17 of the United States Code].

Upon careful examination, I have gathered substantial evidence demonstrating that you have blatantly copied and utilized my original work without seeking my permission or obtaining the necessary licenses. This constitutes copyright infringement and undermines the rights and financial interests that are rightfully mine as the lawful copyright holder.

I demand that you immediately cease and desist from any further use, distribution, sale, or display of my copyrighted material. Additionally, I insist that you promptly remove all unauthorized copies of my work from any websites, platforms, or other mediums under your control or influence. Failure to comply with these demands will leave me with no choice but to pursue all available legal remedies to protect my intellectual property rights.

In order to resolve this matter swiftly and amicably, I request that you respond to this letter within [reasonable time frame, e.g., 10 business days] from the date of receipt. Your response should confirm your compliance with my demands and provide a detailed account of the actions taken to rectify the copyright infringement. Furthermore, I expect you to provide a written assurance that you will refrain from any future unauthorized use of my copyrighted material.

Please be advised that this letter is not intended to be a complete or exhaustive statement of my rights, legal or otherwise, in connection with the infringement. I expressly reserve all rights and remedies available to me under the law, including the right to seek injunctive relief, damages, and attorney fees.

I strongly urge you to reconsider your actions and rectify this situation promptly. By doing so, we can potentially avoid costly and protracted legal proceedings. I hope we can resolve this matter amicably and without further escalation.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this serious matter. I trust that you will comply with my demands and respect the rights of copyright holders going forward.


[Your Name]

PG says this is better than some cease-and-desist letters written by other attorneys that he has reviewed.