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Self-Publishing News: What Does Amazon’s AI Policy For KDP Mean For Indie Authors? 

Self-Publishing News: What does Amazon’s AI Policy for KDP mean for indie authors? 

Today's Self-Publishing News: Update on Amazon's AI Policy for KDP from ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway.

Dan Holloway head and shoulder colour photo - writer of this update on IngramSprk

ALLi's News Editor Dan Holloway

One of the regular news stories over the last few weeks has been platforms’ adoption of policies on AI. Wired got things started by promising never to replace journalists with AI-generated text. And most recently came Kickstarter. They are not looking to ban the use of AI, but rather to ensure transparency about its use. Creators can use AI to help them, but there needs to be an element of human creative input.

This approach is likely to be the template for content creation platforms. It ensures they remain platforms for creators rather than scrapers and scammers. And audiences have the reassurance of knowing what they are getting.

What does Amazon's policy say about AI for authors?

Last week, we finally heard from the platform we have all been waiting for. Amazon KDP now requires you to declare your use of AI.

In terms of what you need to do, Amazon draws a fairly clear distinction. On the one hand, is the use of AI as an assistant, which is fine and needs no further action. This refers, in the words of the policy, to the use of “AI-based tools to edit, refine, error-check, or otherwise improve” work that you yourself have produced. You can also use AI tools “to brainstorm and generate ideas” provided you “ultimately created the text or images yourself.”

On the other hand, there is the use of AI to generate content. That is OK under the new guidelines, but you need to inform Amazon about your use.

Read the new Amazon AI Content Guidelines to hear exactly what they have to say.

What about using AI for plot outlines?

This sounds clear, but there will, of course, be borderline cases that test the policy. An example of this that springs to mind is the use of AI tools to generate really quite detailed plot outlines. I highly recommend the series on The Passive Voice blog about using AI for plot outlines.

Interestingly, this policy covers text, illustration, and translation. Although for obvious reasons there is no mention of audio, this recalls many of the conversations around Audible’s “no AI narration” policy. For translation in particular, I wonder whether authors and tech companies alike will adopt a consistent position. And by that I mean, getting away from the “but tech can’t do it” kind of logic we are too used to seeing. Instead, it would be nice to see more understanding of the fact that translation and narration – like, indeed, illustration and writing – are creative endeavours alike and those who undertake them as much a part of the ecosystem that brings the very best to readers as we are.

ALLi will continue to follow these changes and share any further updates with you.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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