Google Books ingesting all the AI-generated rubbish

AI-generated books—at best useless mish-mashes of written works and at worst lethal nonsense—are flooding Amazon and other venues. Google Books is indexing it indiscriminately, reports 404 Media, and the junk is already having an impact on search.

I was able to find the AI-generated books with the same method we've previously used to find AI-generated Amazon product reviews, papers published in academic journals, and online articles. Searching Google Books for the term "As of my last knowledge update," which is associated with ChatGPT-generated answers, returns dozens of books that include that phrase. Some of the books are about ChatGPT, machine learning, AI, and other related subjects and include the phrase because they are discussing ChatGPT and its outputs. These books appear to be written by humans. However, most of the books in the first eight pages of results turned up by the search appear to be AI-generated and are not about AI.

Leaving aside tells like "as of my last knowledge update," the style—bland enthusiasm, cliches, a certain disquieting suggestion that it knows it is performing a story—makes it obvious. Google has no plans to filter out AI output from Google Books, 404 Media adds, but it insists that it isn't letting it pollute NGram.

"Our automated systems aim to surface relevant, high quality books for a given search, and the books in question appeared for an uncommon, specific search query," a Google spokesperson said. "None of the identified books have factored into Ngram viewer results."

When I asked specifically if these books will be filtered out of Google Ngram viewer corpora in the future, the Google spokesperson said "We're committed to ensuring that the Ngram viewer remains a high quality resource, and will continue to evaluate our approach as the world of book publishing evolves."

Low-background text is the new low-background steel.

Brian Eno: "Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature."

Previously: Demo of AI-generated music