AI-generated travel books and reviews flood Amazon

Occurred: September 2023

Dozens of AI-generated travel books, accompanied by AI-generated profile pictures and five-star reviews, were discovered to have been listed on Amazon.

The New York Times revealed that Amazon was awash with sham books written by 'acclaimed' travel writers written in a monotonous, formulaic style commonly associated with ChatGPT and other generative AI systems. 

Illustrated with generic license-free images, the books tended to be priced lower than better-known, more reputable guidebooks and were often accompanied by sham reviews.

The books prompted complaints from buyers and raised questions about the retailer's ability to police its content in the face of a deluge of AI-generated books, many of poor quality and dubious provenance. 

The company responded to the NYT's findings by saying 'We have clear content guidelines governing which books can be listed for sale and promptly investigate any book when a concern is raised.'

Operator: Amazon
Developer: OpenAI

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate text

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Security

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

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