AI-generated work may soon need to be labeled on Amazon, after complaints from actual authors, but not yet.

Amazon has introduced new regulations requiring authors who wish to sell books through its e-book program to disclose in advance if their work includes artificial intelligence (AI) content. This move comes in response to concerns raised by the Authors Guild and other groups about the flooding of computer-generated books on Amazon’s platform. The Authors Guild has welcomed these regulations as a “welcome first step” toward addressing the issue.

The distinction Amazon makes is between AI-assisted content, which authors do not need to disclose, and AI-generated work. AI-generated content is defined as text, images, or translations created by an AI-based tool. However, the immediate impact of this decision may be limited because Amazon will not publicly identify books that contain AI-generated content. The company has indicated that it may revise this policy in the future.

Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, explained that her organization had been in talks with Amazon regarding AI material since early in the year. The Authors Guild has been advocating for public disclosure when a work is AI-generated, a measure that Amazon has not yet implemented.

While this move is seen as a positive step in promoting transparency and accountability for AI-generated content, some authors and organizations have expressed concerns about AI-generated works potentially overshadowing traditional literature and consumers not being aware that they are paying for AI-generated content.

Earlier this year, the Authors Guild, representing thousands of published authors, played a role in organizing an open letter urging AI companies not to use copyrighted material without permission. The letter received endorsements from well-known authors, including James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, and Suzanne Collins. AI models such as ChatGPT are trained on existing literature, a step which many see as intellectual theft or plagiarism.

As the use of AI in content creation continues to grow, discussions about proper attribution, disclosure, and the role of AI in the creative process are likely to remain important topics within the literary and publishing communities.