Maybe there's so much garbage coming in now that they finally have to do something about it? I feel for people trying to learn about technical topics, who aren't aware enough of this issue to avoid buying ML-generated books with high ratings from fake reviews. The intro programming market is full of these scam books.
I complained, but Amazon defended the book as legitimate, and since I hadn't purchased it, they would not take any action. (to be honest, I assume frontline customer service reps don't have much experience or power)
So I purchased it, complained, got a refund and then they were able to accept my complaint (after passing the complaint higher in the food chain).
Seriously, how hard was it amazon? I guess they're starting to notice.
Take a look at air fryer cookbooks - there are books specific to most makes and models. But everything is ML copypasta all the way up and down - the title, the recipes and the reviews all seem to be generated garbage.
I used to comment on reviews for books like these explaining what was happening, but Amazon turned off the ability to comment on reviews a long time ago.
I've spoken with other tech authors, and almost all of us get emails from people new to programming who have bought these kinds of books. If you're an experienced programmer, you probably know how to recognize a legitimate technical book. But people who are just starting to learn their first language don't always know what to look for. This is squarely on Amazon; they have blocked most or all of the channels for people to directly call out bad products, and they have allowed fake reviews to flourish and drown out authentic reviews.
- it's free, unlike books
- always up-to-date, unlike even the best book after a few months
- easy to choose: heck, there's only one official documentation! No chance of making a mistake here!
Almost every Python author I've spoken with recognizes that no one resource works best for everyone. We each write to offer our particular take on a subject, and hope to find an audience that our perspective resonates with. I've never steered people away from documentation; in fact one of my goals is to steer people to the sections of documentation that they're ready to make sense of. One of my end goals is that people no longer need me as a teacher. That was my goal as a classroom teacher, and it's one of my goals as an author.
The idea that there are no mistakes in official documentation is pretty unrealistic. Technical documentation has certainly improved over the last decade or so, but it will never be perfect. Most of us recognize that some areas of programming are better handled by third party libraries. In a similar way, there will always be room for learning resources that are maintained outside of official documentation sources.
Since there's only one documentation, beginners can't get wrong with which docs to use.
Ad opposed to books, which have tons of bad choices available (hence the current discussion).
I still have some of them. They've aged surprisingly well.
What kind of books? The person you're replying to is arguing in favor of books, but saying that the documentation in particular is not a good one to start with.
There's an old thread where dang explains that it's blacklisted (along with many many other sites) due to the consistently poor article quality.
Unfortunately online market "platforms" are pretty much widely untrustworthy for any sort of informational purposes.
Not even that is a guarantee, there have been cases of rip-offs making it through a bunch of book-on-demand services.
All "marketplaces" allowing third parties unlimited, unmonitored access to product listings suffer from that issue.
And what happens when my problem is that your system won't let me place an order?
If I found out one of the tenants on my multi tenant system was trying to mess with another’s, I would be livid.
These accidents play out in slow motion until someone corners you at a family reunion and asks why their friends can't create accounts and when you ask them how long they say "months".
It's not hard. It's a cost center, and they're in the business of making money - not providing the best service.
There been a recent influx of scammers on Facebook local groups. Air con cleaning, car valeting, everyone’s calling out the scammers in the comments yet when you click report to FB the response is we have reviewed the post and it has not breached our guidelines, would you like to block the user.
You buy books using stolen credit cards and such.
We can track money laundering when there are X fake books. We can't when there are 10X fake books.
I’d be surprised if this is the case. The money they make is probably a rounding error compared even just to other Kindle sales. Much more likely is that they haven’t seen it as a big enough problem - and I’m willing to bet it’s increased multiple orders of magnitude recently.
Current auto generated garbage is very different.
That sounds like a description of LLM-generated content to me ;-)
Amazon and Google both abuse their filtering systems on a daily basis to effect social change.
We need new companies built with policies to keep the filtering systems rigid, effective and unchanging. We need filterkeepers.
The politics are ephemeral, the results matter.
Politic and insult to your hearts content.
The results are quantifiable and qualitatively measurable. You'know, like, science.
What do you want me to say?
If Amazon can fix the flood of garbage, then good, I don't care. I'll shut up.
All the politics is coming from your side of the table, and all the discussion about measurable results is coming from my side of the table. Whatever happens, let's make that distinction razor sharp and clear.
I'd rather have a much more diverse and interesting set of content to choose from, even if some of it might not be to my liking, and even if I'd have to put some effort into previewing or filtering before I find something I want to consume.
More highly "curated" media providers have almost always been the least-efficient, most-costly, and least-satisfying for me.
Buying physical books at a bookstore has typically been a costly waste of time, with the selection being poor, and it requiring time, money, vehicle wear, etc., to actually get to the store.
Public libraries are often worse in terms of selection, and thanks to the ones where I am being funded via taxation, I'm stuck paying for them even if I don't use them.
Online and ebook sellers are somewhat better, although they can still be costly, and the delivery of physical books can take some time.
I've had much better success finding fiction and non-fiction content by doing some searches and seeing which random websites, forums, and other less-"curated" online resources I happen to run across.
It has been the same for video media, too.
OTA TV is relatively cheap, but the selection is so limited as to make it useless.
Cable and satellite TV have upfront costs, and then ongoing costs, plus a relatively limited selection of content available at any given time.
Paid online streaming providers have a cost, obviously, and I've found the selection to be quite poor.
Movie theatres are extremely costly for what you get, have a tremendously limited selection, and also involve significant travel and time costs.
Tape and disc rentals no longer exist today where I am, aside from public libraries. They had per-rental costs, late fees, travel costs, and very limited selection. As stated before, I pay for the library even if I don't use it.
YouTube, on the other hand, gives me a much better experience than the more "curated" providers. With just a minute or two of searching, I can find hours and hours worth of content to watch each evening, I can view this content with almost no delay, the cost is minimal, and the content is far more entertaining and informative than the more "curated" options.
Avoiding "curated" media providers has saved me a lot of time, energy, and money, in addition to providing me with much more enjoyable and useful content.
It seems like this is preventative action rather than reactionary, as they say that there hasn't been an increase in publishing volume, "While we have not seen a spike in our publishing numbers..."
These waves will mainly be in places in which we are the product. And those waves could make those places close to uninhabitable for folks who don't want to slosh through the waves of noise to find the signal.
And in turn that perhaps enables a stronger business model for high quality content islands (regardless of how the content is generated) - e.g. we will be more willing to pay directly for high quality content with dollars instead of time.
In that scenario, AI could be a_good_thing in helping to spin a flywheel for high quality content.
In a world with fake books, it would be quite easy for two books to contain the same misinformation or mis-identification (how many times have I found the wrong plant in a google image search? More times than I care to count). Two fake books putting the wrong mushroom picture next to a mushroom because they were contiguous on some other page and you have dead people.
 In the ten years since I started working with indigenous plants, wild ginger (asarum caudatum), has gone from quasi-edible to medicinal to don't eat. More studies show subtler wear and tear on the organs (wikipedia lists it as carcinogenic!) and it is recommended now that you don't eat them at all, even for medicinal purposes. I'm not sure I own a foraging or native species book younger than 5 years, and many are older.
There will always be a place for subscriptions, but people want the hypertext model of just following a link from somewhere and there is absolutely no technical reason for that to be incompatible with paying for content. The idea that ads are the only way to fund the web needs to be challenged, and generative AI might just provide the push for that to finally happen.
Or maybe there will be no such crisis and it'll just make the whole thing even more exploitative and garbage-filled.
People have been saying this and building startups on this and having those startups crash and burn for decades.
It's not a technical problem. It's a psychology problem.
Paying after you've read an article doesn't provide the immediate post purchase gratification to make it an inpulse purchase . The upside of paying for an article you've already read is more like a considered purchase . But the amount of cognitive effort worth putting into deciding whether or not to pay for the article is often less than the value you got from the article itself. So it's very hard for people to force themselves to decide to commit to these kinds of microtransactions. See also .
It's just a sort of cognitive dead zone where our primate heuristics don't work well for the technically and economically optimal solution. It's sort of like why you can't go into a store and buy a stick of gum.
Edit: Ah, I did say
> see an article on hn or wherever, follow the link and read it and pay for it
That wasn't supposed to be a chronological sequence of events, but I see I accidentally implied that. Apologies for the confusion.
Welcome to new and interesting ways to defraud people over the internet for money school of thought.
At least with Amazon it's a "one and done shop" of who I spent my money with when I bought something.
Imagine tomorrow with your click to pay for random links on the internet you suddenly have 60,000 1 cent charges. They all appear to go different places and to get a refund you need to challenge each one.
The context of this discussion is the high quality, paid, edited writing that is currently behind site-wide subscription paywalls at sites like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, etc. It would be great to lower the barrier to entry for individual writers as far as possible, and maybe even include some sites that are run more like blogging platforms, but there would always have to be content standards and some degree of editorial control for reasons other than avoidance of scams, and with those things in place avoidance of scams is a non-issue because you're dealing with organisations that are trading on reputation. The New York Times isn't going to be defrauding its readers (and neither is Medium if it comes to that).
I mean think about it. Amazon had to stop publishing BOOKS because it can no longer separate the signal from the noise. The printing press was the birth of knowledge for the people and the LLM is the death.
Not even close to white noise. White noise, in the context of the token space, looks like this:
auceverts exceptionthreat."<ablytypedicensYYY DominicGT portaelight\- titular Sebast Yellowstone.currentThreadrition-zoneocalyptic
which is literally the result of "I downloaded the list of tokens and asked ChatGPT to make a python script to concatenate 20 random ones".
No, the biggest problem with LLMs is that the best of them are simultaneously better than untrained humans and yet also nowhere near as good as trained humans — someone, don't remember who, described them as "mansplaining as a service", which I like, especially as it (sometimes) reminds me to be humble when expressing an opinion outside my domain of expertise, as it knows more than I do about everything I'm not already an expert at.
Specific example: I'm currently trying to use ChatGPT-3.5 to help me understand group theory, because the brilliant.org lessons on that are insufficient; unfortunately, while it knows infinitely more than I do about the subject, it is still so bad it might as well be guessing the multiple choice answers (if I let it, which I don't because that would be missing the point of using a MOOC like brilliant.org in the first place).
That's true, but it also allowed protestant "heretics" to propagate an idea that caused a permanent schism with the Catholic church, which led to centuries of wars that killed who-knows-how-many people, up to recent times with Northern Ireland.
(Or something like that, my history's fuzzy, but I think that's generally right?)
That's because they are trying very hard not to check what they are selling, hoping that their own users and a few ML algorithms can separate the signal from the noise for them. It seems to me that the approach is no longer working, and they should start doing it by themselves.
I get the most value out of asking for examples of things or asking for basic explanations or intuitions about things. And I get so much value from this that I really think the printing press is the most apt comparison.
So it is possible that LLMs will centralize the production and dissemination of knowledge, which is the opposite of what people think the printing press did. I hope I'm wrong and open models can challenge/overtake state of the art models developed by tech giants, that would be amazing.
Now it refuses, because OpenAI's morals apparently don't include spreading openly available knowledge about how to defend yourself.
Scary. I have also been using it to generate useful political critiques (given a particular theoretical tradition, some style notes, and specific articles to critique, it's actually excitingly good). What if OpenAI decides that's a threat? What reason do we have to think that a powerful institution would not take this course of action, in the cold light of history?
"Signal" would mean new data, which is by definition not possible via LLMs trained on publicly available content, since that means the data is already out there, or new and meaningful ideas or innovations beyond just combining existing material. I have not seen LLMs accomplish the latter. I consider it at least possible that they are capable of such a feat, but even then the relevant question would be how often they produce such things compared to just rearranging existing content. Is the proportion high enough that unleashing floods of AI-generated content everywhere would not lower the signal-to-noise ratio from the pre-AI situation?
Doesn't that make human content look bad in the first place?
If we can't distinguish a Python book written by a human engineer or by ChatGPT, how can we demonstrate objectively that the machine-generated one is so much worse?
Humans, examining things, and putting a reputation that matters on the line to vouch for it.
The fact that Amazon doesn't want to have smart, contextually aware humans look at and evaluate everything people propose to offer up for sale on their storefront doesn't mean it can't be done. Same as how Google doesn't want to look at every piece of content uploaded to YouTube to figure out if it's suitable for kids, or includes harmful information. That's expensive, so they choose not to do it.
I bet ChatGPT can come up with above-average content to teach Python.
We should teach beginners how to prompt engineer in the context of tech learning. I bet it's going to yield better results than gate-keeping book publishing.
Now that it’s possible to produce mediocrity at scale, that process breaks down. How is a beginner supposed to know whether the tutorial they’re reading is a legitimate tutorial that uses best practices, or an AI-generated tutorial that mashes together various bits of advice from whatever’s on the internet?
There are almost always trade-offs and choosing one option usually involves non-tech aspects as well.
Online tutorials freely available very rarely follow, let's say, "good practices".
They usually omit the most instructive parts, either because they're wrapped in a contrived example or simplify for accessibility purposes.
I don't think AI-generated tutorials will be particularly worse at this to be honest...
I've seen many developers using technologies without reading the official documentation. It's insane. They make mistakes and always blame the tech. It's ludicrous...
The LLM is the most powerful knowledge tool ever to exist. It is both a librarian in your pocket. It is an expert in everything, it has read everything, and can answer your specific questions on any conceivable topic.
Yes it has no concept of human value and the current generation hallucinates and/or is often wrong, but the responsibility for the output should be the user's, not the LLM's.
Do not let these tools be owned, crushed and controlled by the same people who are driving us towards WW3 and cooking the planet for cash. This is the most powerful knowledge tool ever. Democratize it.
LLMs (Current-generation and UI/UX ones at least) will tell you all sorts of incorrect "facts" just because "these words go next to each other lots" with a great amount of gusto and implied authority.
Maybe they’re just orders of magnitude more useful at the beginning of a career, when it’s more important to digest and distill readily-available information than to come up with original solutions to edge cases or solve gnarly puzzles?
Maybe I also simply don’t write enough code anymore :)
Just yesterday, I asked if Typescript has the concept of a "late" type, similar to Dart, because I didn't want to annotate a type with "| null" when I knew it would be bound before it was used. Searching for info would have taken me much longer than asking the LLM, and the LLM was able to frame the answer from a Dart perspective.
I would say that that information neither "important to digest" nor "readily available."
For me, it's been able to give very good answers when they were within the first few Google results when searched for using the proper terms (but the value is in giving you these terms in the first place!).
For questions from my field, it's been wildly hallucinating and producing half-truths, outdated information, or complete nonsense. Which is also fair, because the documentation where the answers could be found is often proprietary, and even then it's either outdated or outright wrong half of the time :)
But sometimes we're more than that: Some types of deep understanding aren't verbal or language-based, and I suspect that these are the ones that LLMs will have the hardest time getting good at. That's not to say that no AI will get there at all, but I think it'll need something fundamentally different from LLMs.
For what it's worth, I've personally changed my mind here: I used to think that the level of language proficiency that LLMs demonstrate easily would only be possible using an AGI. Apparently that's not the case.
We can generate thoughts that are spatially coherent, time aware, validated for correctness and a whole bunch of other qualities that LLMs cannot do.
Why would LLMs be the model for human thought, when it does not come close to the thoughts humans can do every minute of every day?
Aren't we all just stochastic parrots, is the kind of question that requires answering an awful lot about the universe before you get to an answer.
The current iteration of the internet (more specifically social media) has used the same rationality for its existence but at a level, society has proven itself too irresponsible and/or lazy to think for itself but be fed by the machine. What makes you think LLMs are going to do anything but make the situation worse? If anything, they’re going to reenforce whatever biases were baked into the training material, of which is now legally dubious.
Yeah, I mean, so can I, as long as you don't care whether the answers you receive are accurate or not. The LLM is just better at pretending it knows quantum mechanics than I am.
The best way to use an LLM for learning is to ask a question, assume it's getting things wrong, and use that to probe your knowledge which you can iteratively use to prove the LLM's knowledge. Human experts don't put up with that and are a much more limited resource.
It's all just a matter of perspective.
Yes, right now it looks like white noise, just like back then it looked like white noise which could drown out the religious texts. But we managed to get past it then and I'm sure we'll manage now.
If you actually meant something else, you should probably clarify.
It can be both true that right now predominantly low quality content emanates from LLMs and at some future time the highest quality material will come from those sources. Or perhaps even right now (the future is already here, just unevenly distributed).
If that was their reasoning, I tend agree. The equivalent of the Catholic Church in this metaphor is the presumption human-generated content's inherent superiority.
If we cannot distinguish, I'd argue they have similar value.
They must have. Otherwise, how can we demonstrate objectively the higher value in the human output?
There are lots of fake recipe books on amazon for instance. But how can you really be sure without trying the recipes? It might look like a recipe at first glance, but if its telling you to use the right ingredients in a subtly-wrong way, its hard to tell at first glance that you won't actually end up with edible food. Some examples are easy to point at, like the case of the recipe book that lists Zelda food items as ingredients, but they aren't always that obvious.
I saw someone giving programming advice on discord a few weeks ago. Advice that was blatantly copy/pasted from chat GPT in response to a very specific technical question. It looked like an answer at first glance, but the file type of the config file chat GPT provided wasn't correct, and on top of that it was just making up config options in attempt to solve the problem. I told the user this, they deleted their response and admitted it was from chatGPT. However, the user asking the question didn't know the intricacies of "what config options are available" and "what file types are valid configuration files". This could have wasted so much of their time, dealing with further errors about invalid config files, or options that did not exist.
As an aside, the case you're thinking of was a novel, not a recipe book. Still embarrassing, but at least it was just a bit of set dressing, not instructions to the reader.
> I saw someone giving programming advice on discord a few weeks ago. Advice that was blatantly copy/pasted from chat GPT in response to a very specific technical question.
This, on the other hand, is a very real and a very serious problem. I've also seen users try to get ChatGPT to teach them a new programming language or environment (e.g. learning to use a game development framework) and ending up with some seriously incorrect ideas. Several patterns of failure I've seen are:
1) As you describe, language models will frequently hallucinate features. In some cases, they'll even fabricate excuses for why those features fail to work, or will apologize when called out on their error, then make up a different nonexistent feature.
2) Language models often confuse syntax or features from different programming languages, libraries, or paradigms. One example I've heard of recently is language models trying to use features from the C++ standard library or Boost when writing code targeted at Unreal Engine; this doesn't work, as UE has its own standard library.
3) The language model's body of "knowledge" tends to fall off outside of functionality commonly covered in tutorials. Writing a "hello world" program is no problem; proposing a design for (or, worse, an addition to) a large application is hopeless.
Hard disagree. I've used GPT-4 to write full optimizers from papers that were published long after the cutoff date that use concepts that simply didn't exist in the training corpus. Trivial modifications were done after to help with memory usage and whatnot, but more often than not if I provide it the appropriate text from a paper it'll spit something out that more or less works. I have enough knowledge in the field to verify the corectness.
Most recently I used GPT-4 to implement the paper Bayesian Flow Networks, a completely new concept that I recall from the comment section on HN people said "this is way too complicated for people who don't intimately know the field" to make any use of.
I don't mind it when people don't find use with LLMs for their particular problems, but I simply don't run into the vast majority of uselessness that people find, and it really makes me wonder how people are prompting to manage to find such difficulty with them.
I think the concern is that bad authors would game the reviews and lure audiences into bad books.
But aren't they already able to do so? Is it sustainable long term? If you spit out programming books with code that doesn't even run, people will post bad reviews, ask for refunds. These authors will burn their names.
It's not sustainable.
They make up an authors name. Publish a bunch of books on a subject. Publish a bunch of fake reviews. Dominate the search results for a specific popular search. They get people to buy their book.
Its not even book specific, its been happening with actual products all over amazon for years. People make up a company, sell cheap garbage, and make a profit. But with books, they can now make the cheap garbage look slightly convincing. And the cheap garbage is so cheap to produce in mass amounts that nobody can really sort through and easily figure out "which of these 10k books published today are real and which are made up by ai".
It takes time and money to produce cheap products at a factory. But once these scammers have the AI generation setup, they can just publish books on loop until someone ends up buying one. They might get found out eventually, and they will have to pretend to be a different author, and they just repeat the process.
The LLM allow DDoS attack by increasing the threshold needed to check the books for gibberish.
It’s not like this stream of low quality did not exist before, but the topic is hot and many grifters try LLMs to get a quick buck at the same time.
ChatGPT as an autocompletion tool is fine, IMO. As well as generating alternative sentences. But anything longer than a paragraph falls back to the uncanny valley.
These pseudo-authors will get bad reviews, will lose money in refunds, burn their names.
It's not sustainable. Some will try, for sure, but they won't last long.
The equilibrium shifts to making it much harder to find good books, and that was already hard enough.
Choose a book from someone that has a hard earned reputation to protect.
Heck, we always did that since before GPT.
Good authors will continue to publish good content because they have a reputation to protect. They might use ChatGPT to increase productivity, but will surely and carefully review it before signing off.
If yes, well, there's the problem then. It's not AI, but the lack of guidance and research skills in support of the process of choosing a book.
Before the printing press two books cost around the same as a 2 story cottage.
Afterwards a couple books would be about a month of wages for a skilled worker.
That greatly limits ones ability to drown out anything with books.
Not for centuries. Due to the expense of the technology and the requirement in some locations for a royal patent to print books, the printing press just opened up knowledge a bit more from the Church and aristocracy to the bourgeoisie, but it did little for the masses until as late as the 1800s.
Maybe the self-publishing and BoD will decline in the long term due to ML white noise and publishers are a sign of quality again.
Prompt engineering is an example of this. A clever prompt by a domain expert can prime an LLM interaction to yield better information to the recipient in a way that the recipient themselves could not have produced on their own.
With the press, a greasy workman can churn out hundreds of copies an hour, for whichever charlatan or heretic palms him enough coin. The people are flooded with falsehoods by men whose only interest in writing is how many words they can fit on a page, and where to buy the cheapest ink.
The worst part is that it is impossible to distinguish the work of a real thinker from that of a cheap sophist, since they are all printed on the same rough paper, and serve equally well as tomorrow's kindling.
If it was written with the aid of AI, that's different. At least someone tried to make something good and just used avalible tools to enhance the quality.
The example is from the sixteenth century, but the printing press is from the seventh century.
I don't think the Catholic Church bothered to take any notice at all?
For what it's worth, these 'growing pains' took the form of the wars of religion in Europe, which in Germany killed up to 30% of the population, that's in relative terms significantly worse than the casualties of World War I and II. So maybe the Catholic Church had a point
Is that really the take-away? If the Catholic Church had not been so belligerent, those wars would not have been needed. Now that we are past that time, we should surely be thanking those combatants who helped disseminate knowledge in spite of the Church whose interest was in hoarding it.
More importantly I certainly wouldn't want to live through that period for any reason, and much less repeat it. If an ordinary printing press caused that much chaos I'm not sure I want to figure out what one on steroids is going to do
I'm not entirely sure how to word this question.
How do we make sure that most of the people we talk to are at least humans if not necessarily the person we expect them to be? And I'm not saying that like a cartoonish bad guy in a movie who hates artificial intelligence and augmented humans.
How do I not get inundated by AI that's good at trolling. How do I keep the social groups I belong to from being trolled?
These questions keep drawing me back to the concept of Web of Trust we tried to build with PGP for privacy reasons. Unless I've solicited it, I really only want to talk to entities that pass a Turing Test. I'd also like it if someone actively breaking the law online were actually affected by the deterrence of law enforcement, instead of being labeled a glitch or a bug in software that can't be arrested, or even detained.
It feels like I want to talk to people I know to be human (friends, famous people - who might actually be interns posing as their boss online), and people they know to be human, and people those people suspect to be human.
I have long term plans to set up a Wiki for a hobby of mine, and I keep getting wrapped around the axle trying to figure out how to keep signup from being oppressive and keep bots from turning me into an SEO farm.
Even if you're never online and only talk to people in person... over time those people will be increasingly informed by LLM-generate pseudo-knowledge. We aren't just training the AIs. They're training us back.
If you want to live in a society where the people you interact with have brains mostly free of AI-generated pollution, then I'm sorry but that world isn't going to be around much longer. We are entering the London fog era of the Information Age.
We have two and a half generations of people right now most of whom think "I did the research" means "I did half as much reading as the average C student does for a term paper, and all of that reading was in Google."
And Alphabet fiddles while Google burns. This is going to end in chaos.
What's the alternative? No one who says that is saying they did original research, they're saying they searched around and got what they believe to be at least a consensus among the body of experts they trust.
Like I agree the problem sucks but I have no idea what a solution looks like. For fields someone is totally unfamiliar with they simultaneously don't have enough knowledge to evaluate the truth of a claim nor the knowledge to evaluate if someone is qualified and trustworthy enough to believe them. It's turtles all the way down -- especially because topics of any interest you can find as many experts as you care to of whatever qualification you demand making all sorts of contradictory claims.
Is it? Even those whose social life is entirely IRL, they still have to increasingly interact with various businesses, banks, healthcare providers, the government, and often more distant collegues through online services. Do I want these to go through LLM chatbots? No. Can I ensure that I'm speaking to an actual human if the communication is text based? Not really.
The concern isn't necessarily for you. It's for the large swaths of people who are less equipped to filter through noise like this.
Alternatively for sign ups, tell them to contact you and ask. Chat with them a moment. Ask them about their hobbies and family.
So I guess Amazon is doing something even though I regularly hear complaints from authors that they allow blatant piracy all the time
Those appear to be by different authors with similar names: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=%22tom+lesley%22
> While we have not seen a spike in our publishing numbers, in order to help protect against abuse, we are lowering the volume limits we have in place on new title creations. Very few publishers will be impacted by this change and those who are will be notified and have the option to seek an exception.
This is the future
>AI-generated: We define AI-generated content as text, images, or translations created by an AI-based tool. If you used an AI-based tool to create the actual content (whether text, images, or translations), it is considered "AI-generated," even if you applied substantial edits afterwards.
AI-assisted: If you created the content yourself, and used AI-based tools to edit, refine, error-check, or otherwise improve that content (whether text or images), then it is considered "AI-assisted" and not “AI-generated.” Similarly, if you used an AI-based tool to brainstorm and generate ideas, but ultimately created the text or images yourself, this is also considered "AI-assisted" and not “AI-generated.” It is not necessary to inform us of the use of such tools or processes.
1. The more content there is, the more you can't reliably get good stuff without reviews, the more centralized distribution platforms with reviews and rankings are needed.
2. Even if people are making fake books for money laundering, Amazon gets a cut of all sales, laundered or not.
Just like Yahoo's directory once upon a time though, and Movie theaters, the party gets ruined when most people learn they can use AI to generate custom stories at home and/or converse with the characters and interact in far more ways than currently possible. Content is going from king to commodity.
It is true though that if you have a culturally diverse set of friends and are open to their experiences and opinions, a lot of “the classics” start to smell bad. Imagine being black and reading Grapes of Wrath. You might think the situation of the main characters as humorous or infantile, considering how relatively fortunate they are.
I've found that it definitely applies to books. Starting at a ~20 year horizon is a surprisingly good filter for quality.
The Lindy effect.
Finding deeply valuable and high quality books is much rarer in today's crop of authors. The best minds are rarely making the medium of literature their highest good, but are instead chasing dollars and relations with the rich and famous.
I would go long the value of genuine human writing, aka the 'small web'.
It is absolutely possible to write a good article or even a good book with AI, but at least for now it’s just as hard, if not harder, than doing it without AI.
But of course people trying to make a quick buck won’t put in the required effort, and they likely don’t even have the ability to create great or even good content.
It's also recognizable by its sheer volume. An "author" who submits several new books every day is clearly not doing their own writing. The AI publishing scam relies on volume -- they can't possibly win on quality, but they're hoping to make up for that by putting so many garbage books on the market that buyers can't find anything else.
Publishing multiple books per day is out of the question. That's beyond even what's reasonable for an editor to skim through and rubber-stamp.
Is it? How do you immediately recognize a book as AI generated before buying it, if the author isn't doing something silly like releasing several books per day/month? And even after you buy a book, how can you distinguish between the book just being terrible and the book being written with extensive use of AI? I don't believe AI can write good books, but I would still like to distinguish those two cases, since the former is just a terrible book, which is perfectly fine, while the latter I would like to avoid. I don't want to waste my limited time reading AI content.
Yea, but the Turning Test is actively being assaulted. Soon we won't know the difference between an uninspired book written by an AI and an uninspired book written by a human.
How hard is it though, to create a shitty book with AI, that Amazon can't detect was written with AI?
Maybe it doesn't matter. The quality of the work matters more than the process of actualization.
Verifiability and authenticity matter and are valuable. Amazon has long had a problem of fake reviews. This issue with kindle books seems an extension of that. Massive centralized platforms like Amazon makes fraud more likely and is bad for the consumer.
The "decentralization" that we need as a society is not in the form of any crypto based technical capability but simply for the size of the massive players to be reduced so competition can reemerge and give consumers more options on where and how to spend their dollars. Other E-book stores may just pop up that develop relationships with publishers and disallow independent publishing if amazon were forced to be broken up.
I hope the FTC can begin finding a strategy to force some of these massive corporations to split making it more likely for there to be more competition.