How to write an ebook with ChatGPTexplained by ChatGPT: This ebook, which it is not in Italian but is also available on Amazon Italy (it’s here), is perhaps the apotheosis of a phenomenon which we are only now realizing but which has probably been going on for months. That of the books written by the note artificial intelligence at OpenAI.
There are so many: the Reuters news agency counted over 200 on Amazon USA, we found 117 ebooks and 66 paper books that on Amazon Italy have ChatGPT among the authors. Who is evidently capable of writing, but not yet able to lead the entire process leading up to publication on her own. She needs a human for that, at least for now.
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Poems, manuals and fairy tales for children
We have counted a few hundred books, both electronic and traditional, but it is probable that there are many more: Amazon does not currently have a transparency policy that obliges authors to declare the possible help of an AI during the writing phase, therefore it is highly probable that many have simply chosen not to do so. And to take all the credit.
Browsing in full the Italian catalog has a bit of everything: we have not found any books in our language, but many in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and also in Dutch. They are not all books on how to use ChatGPT, written by ChatGPT (although these are honestly the most curious ones), but they are especially children’s books, with fairy tales, short stories or simplified explanations (on cryptocurrencies, for example), or manuals. Manuals for everything: to face an interview, write a resume, write an email, prepare recipes, prepare typical Native American recipes, get out of the marriage crisis and “make your wife love you forever” (seriously, this is it).
Most ebooks are included in the Kindle Unlimited plan, but there are many that cost 1, 2, 4 or 6 euros and some are even poetry books. On the contrary, Illustrated Poems on Humanity. Written by an artificial intelligence, though.
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The risk of acceptable mediocrity
There are so many because it is evidently very easy to make them. And because online is full of people explaining how to make them: on TikTok and Redditfor example, in the last few months dozens and dozens of tutorials have appeared that tell you in a few minutes how to write a book with ChatGPT, from what questions to ask what to write to to keep the conversation going.
As well as on YouTube there are authors who confirm that “I wrote a book in less than 4 hours”: the Reuters agency cites, for example, the case of a certain Frank White, who in a video (visible above) said he wrote a 119-page novel in less than a day and put it up for sale on Amazon for $1. And above all that “anyone with the means and the time could create 300 such books a yearall using artificial intelligence”.
As you can imagine, this could create two kinds of problems: first of all, that writers (and in general all those who have to do with writing) see each other slowly take the job away from AIs and also that the buyer does not immediately realize that he has bought a book not written by a person. For this reason, more and more authors have clearly asked Amazon and other platforms to “be transparent” about how the books and ebooks they sell were created.
The other risk, connected to this, is that we arrive at the so-called acceptable mediocrity, a concept we have already talked about on Italian Tech (precisely by dealing with content made by AI), that is, that the quality of the product drops and that whoever writes and who reads gets used to books of lower quality on average but easier to make and cheaper to buy.
And yet, there is also a possible, potential advantage: may the anxiety of a blank page end and the idea of writer’s block disappear, because if inspiration were lacking you could get help from ChatGPT to get an idea or starting point. Help, but don’t do everything from start to finish.