AI Is Writing Books Faster Than Humans—Here's Why That's a Problem

Chat tools could swamp the writing trade

  • Humans using AI writing tools are getting their books onto Amazon.
  • Some experts say that AI can be a valuable tool for writers.
  • But books written by AI often lack creativity and can contain errors.
An overhead view of robot hands on the keyboard of a laptop computer.

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The next book you buy could be written by artificial intelligence (AI), and some experts say the trend is hurting creativity and accuracy. 

AI authors are sweeping into online booksellers. A new report found over 200 e-books in Amazon's Kindle store as of mid-February listing ChatGPT as an author or co-author, including "How to Write and Create Content Using ChatGPT," "The Power of Homework" and poetry collection "Echoes of the Universe." 

"These systems are intelligent in the sense that they are excellent at mimicking the patterns of words humans use, but not so intelligent that they can check for appropriate meaning, use, or specific facts," John T. Behrens, a professor of the Practice of Digital Learning at the University of Notre Dame told Lifewire in an email interview. "We still need humans for that."

AI Authors

AI software makes writing and publishing a book on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing store easy. Reuters reports that dozens of tutorials are available online on how to use AI to get published. 

"New AI-based technologies, like ChatGPT, generate text that sounds remarkably like text generated by humans," Behrens said. "While these systems are especially useful as writing aids to suggest phrasing or to create the first draft of a paragraph, the generated text can be connected to make chapters or even books."

Bob Rogers, the CEO of, a data science company, said in an email that the lure of AI software for writing is speed. 

"My previous book on AI, with human co-authors, took four years to write," he said. "My latest book, "ChatGPT, an AI Expert, and a Lawyer Walk Into a Bar…The Evolution of Creativity and Communication" took a weekend."

One possible reason AI literature is catching on is that readers have lowered their standards, noted Hruy Tsegaye, the CEO of Mindplex Media, an online magazine and showcase for AI tools, in an email interview with Lifewire. Watching videos, he said, is becoming a more common pastime than reading books. 

"The art of writing is becoming obsolete, and video is accelerating that," he added. "The audience now has a lesser attention span, and content needs to be engaging and concise, which chatbots can undoubtedly help with—at the sacrifice of quality."

Someone holding a book with a glowing brain made from light to indicate AI above the pages.

Andranik Hakobyan / Getty Images

For some uses, AI software can be helpful, Behrens noted. When used as a writing aid to help an author generate more ideas or look for an alternate way to express information the author is familiar with, it can accelerate the writing process and provide readers with more material. But, he added, "if it is being used as a substitute for human writing or editing, it could lead to very boring or even nonsensical or damaging materials that would be bad for readers."

Rogers said that AI software like ChatGPT could be an asset for its speed and grammatical crispness. It can also be used to inject some variety into non-fiction writing since it can express any piece of writing in multiple ways.

"The biggest challenge is that ChatGPT writing, simply put, lacks flavor and spark," he added. "It will not take a stand or add a twist to a story, so authors still need to add their own touch to avoid bland and boring writing."

Cheat or Tool?

As fast as AI writing software is progressing, it's not likely to supplant human authors anytime soon, Rogers said, at least for fiction and high-quality non-fiction. 

The biggest challenge is that ChatGPT writing, simply put, lacks flavor and spark.

"It will replace a lot of mid-tier writing like social media posts, for example, since they usually include only one or two key facts," he added. "Letting ChatGPT create a few different ways to express those facts results in a good mix of content to share. Another example is report copy since the content often follows specific formats, which are easy to generate with ChatGPT."

But Behrens said that AI-based tools would support human authors more and more. Think of AI as a kind of autocorrect feature. 

"Right now, we use AI-based spell checkers and grammar checkers that supplant small parts of the writing process. We can imagine this slowly extending to larger pieces of text," he added. "However, right now, these systems still rely on humans to determine if the words get the desired idea across and require human editing."

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