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Trade bodies call for ‘strong Government support’ in face of AI

Updated: Feb 5

Please read this statement on AI from the Society of Authors, the Management Committee of which I am proud to be an elected member. It is a joint statement with the Publishers Association, the Association of Authors Agents, and the Authors Licensing and Collection Society. These are pretty much the main trade bodies of the whole book trade.

AI can be great used wisely. We use it all the time already. But everyone needs to understand, and authors and publishers need to understand in particular, that our entire livelihoods are under threat unless we get a plan in place from the government (which seems to be in thrall to big tech instead of interested in defending the creative industries which contribute literally billions to the UK economy) for the ethical and legal use of AI when it comes to data mining (where my books have been, without my consent, uploaded to the 'machine' so they can be fed in and spat out to create articifical composite stories Amazon or whoever can at some point sell to readers who 'just' want a nice easy read, or translators, whose years of experience has been mined so some AI tool can translate entire novels without paying a human to do it, or audiobook narrators, editors, copyeditors, illustrators... the list goes on.

If you are a book lover, if you have an author in mind whose stories you love, that is because they are human and have a lifetimes' experience they draw on. Read this, educate yourselves and let's all fight the encroachment of big tech into creativity.

Ask me if you have any questions. Authors, join your union!


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