The Temptation of AI-Generated Fiction

Jennifer R. Povey
4 min readFeb 21
Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

There are now YouTube videos suggesting that you use AI to write a book, AI to make a cover, and put it on Amazon to make a quick buck.

A leading science fiction magazine has received so many clearly AI-written submissions they had to close subs while they work out how to stem the tide so their first readers can keep up.

AI fiction is with us. Right now, it’s terrible. That’s likely to change.

AI fiction is also a form of plagiarism.

But the temptation to use ChatGPT or one of the others to generate fiction and sell it has to be high.

This is bad for many people in the industry, including those hard working first readers.

But I’d like to give a quick overview of why it is bad for you to do this.

Current Generation AI Makes Crap

The makers of ChatGPT admit that it tends to ramble and use unnecessary words. ChatGPT-created text is actually pretty easy to identify when a human reader sees it.

Often these tools produce fiction that is technically correct, even perfect, but lacks heart and soul.

Simply submitting the output of an AI text generator to a magazine is going to net you, at best, a fast form rejection. Not because it’s AI, but because it’s not good.

If they realize it’s AI it could be worse.

It’s Plagiarism

Going to say it. Again. In fact I will repeat this as many times as necessary.

AI-generated fiction is plagiarism.

Not only are you passing off the work of another entity as your own, but the AI was trained with bits of other people’s work. Often without their consent. They’ll probably be using this essay.

Plagiarism is unacceptable in publishing. If an editor finds out you are submitting AI-generated text then guess what? They won’t even read your next submission. If they’re using a slush wrangler, they may block your email address from submitting to them.

And you won’t recover from this without changing your name and identity, because…

Editors All Talk To Each Other

Jennifer R. Povey

I write about fantasy, science fiction and horror, LGBT issues, travel, and social issues.