The world of artificial intelligence, once a concept confined to science fiction, is now not only a reality but a big worry in industries where the technology is being used to turbocharge—and in some cases replace—human creativity.
Clarkesworld, a U.S.-based science fiction magazine, has stopped accepting story submissions after receiving an overwhelming number created with or enhanced using generative A.I. technology like ChatGPT.
“Towards the end of 2022, there was another spike in plagiarism and then ‘AI’ chatbots started gaining some attention, putting a new tool in their arsenal and encouraging more to give this ‘side hustle’ a try,” Neil Clarke, the magazine’s editor, wrote in a blog post last week. He added that the issue had gotten “out of hand” with a meteoric rise in the number of A.I. submissions.
Clarke did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment.
The widespread adoption and popularity of generative A.I. tools like ChatGPT have opened doors for many seeking creative assistance in writing or content generation. But the magnitude of how people can use generative A.I. to improve their creativity is only just being explored.
One of those who adopted A.I. for content creation is New York-based salesman Brett Schickler, who recently used ChatGPT to write a 30-page children’s book entirely by providing simple one-phrase prompts, Reuters reported Tuesday. It was ready in a “matter of hours,” and Schickler managed to self-publish the book and sell it on Amazon in January.
“I could see people making a whole career out of this,” Schickler told Reuters. His example reveals how people are experimenting with A.I. to explore its many opportunities. Schickler never thought he could be an author until he was with the help of ChatGPT.
In the realm of creativity, generative A.I. has sparked a broader ethical debate on the ownership of content produced with the help of such technology. Tools like ChatGPT are trained on various internet sources, including human conversations and copyrighted materials. OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, does not claim a copyright over the content generated on its platform. But the question of ownership continues to be a gray area as more people submit A.I.-generated content as if it’s their own work.
On Amazon’s Kindle store, there are over 200 e-books that include ChatGPT as an author or co-author, according to Reuters. Even with such disclosures, identifying if a book is truly a product of A.I. technology can still be a task.
CNET, a technology publication, attempted to use A.I. to write explainers and listicles over a few months. An investigation revealed that it yielded stories with inaccuracies, forcing CNET to suspend using such technology in its writing endeavors.
Despite a heated debate on the ownership of A.I.-created content, tech giants have been racing to develop versions of such tools. Google announced its chatbot, Bard, earlier this month and Microsoft announced a new-and-improved version of its search engine, Bing, that will be infused with OpenAI’s technology. Both the tools had embarrassing instances of inaccuracies in their outputs at their demos—not to mention apparent ethical lapses—showing that they are still in their infancy.
OpenAI did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment made outside its regular operating hours.