I have translated the relevant excerpt below using ChatGPT from the original German, based on a PDF sent by the author. I don’t believe a digital version of this article (titled, ‘Content ist Knecht’ & dated, 2023-06-30) yet exists, but I will post a link to it here if and when it becomes available (UPDATE: here’s the published link, behind a paywall):
AI opens up new possibilities, not only in music or advertising. Writing suddenly becomes astonishingly different as well. Tim Boucher is actually a product manager in Quebec City. As a side job, the Canadian writes books – one can be finished in six to ten hours. He has self-published a total of 105 books in the past months. The science fiction narratives are written with the help of the AI language models GPT-4 from OpenAI and Claude from Anthropic. The works are kept short and adorned with AI-generated images. With his dystopian series – AI takes over the world – he has secured a small fan base, as the 42-year-old reports. So far, Boucher has sold about 700 pieces for two to four dollars each.
Boucher is certainly not writing high literature. But that is not his intention in the slightest. “I see myself more as a creative director and less as an author,” says the Canadian. AI could give the genre of pulp novels a comeback, says Cultural Council chief Zimmermann. “There, the author is of little interest to the reader.” But also “honorable writers” would feel the impact of such texts, says Zimmermann. “AI can create a book very, very inexpensively, which changes the entire value chain in the literature sector,” says the culture manager. Suddenly, authors’ writing styles are available at the touch of a button.
I actually think the author/creator of pulp works of this nature (and I appreciate their comparison here to dime novels) is important, but it forces us to re-examine the nature of authorship. This is a topic I will follow up on in more detail in the future.