One side effect of unlimited content-creation machines—generative AI—is unlimited content. On Monday, the editor of the renowned sci-fi publication Clarkesworld Magazine announced that he had temporarily closed story submissions due to a massive increase in machine-generated stories sent to the publication.
In a graph shared on Twitter, Clarkesworld editor Neil Clarke tallied the number of banned writers submitting plagiarized or machine-generated stories. The numbers totaled 500 in February, up from just over 100 in January and a low baseline of around 25 in October 2022. The rise in banned submissions roughly coincides with the release of ChatGPT on November 30, 2022.
Large language models (LLM) such as ChatGPT have been trained on millions of books and websites and can author original stories quickly. They don’t work autonomously, however, and a human must guide their output with a prompt that the AI model then attempts to automatically complete.