Google Books indexes low quality, AI-generated books

Occurred: April 2024

Google Books has been indexing AI-generated books that impacts the quality of information on Google's platform and possibly damaging Google Ngram Viewer, a tool used by researchers to track language use throughout history.

According to 404 Media, dozens of books containing the phrase 'As of my last knowledge update,' which is associated with ChatGPT- and Gemini AI-generated answer are listed on Google Books. And while some of these books discussed topics like ChatGPT, machine learning, and AI, most appeared to be generated by artificial intelligence.

Examples of AI-generated books on Google Books include Bears, Bulls, and Wolves: Stock Trading for the Twenty-Year-Old by Tristin McIver and Maximize Your Twitter Presence: 101 Strategies for Marketing Success by Shu Chen Hou. Published in 2024, both books read like ChatGPT-generated text with superficial analysis of complex topics.

The presence of AI-generated content raised questions about the quality and reliability of information available on Google Books. It also raised concerns about Google Ngram Viewer, a tool used by researchers to track language use throughout history, which could be corrupted by the influx of AI-generated content.

Operator: Alphabet/Google
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Index books
Technology: 
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance