We can help with:
Accelerate your career
Join us today
Book an event
A unique 3-minute opportunity to pitch to publishers & agents
Do you want to know how to nail your pitch to publishers?
We advocate for members
Stay in the know
Stay in the know with industry news and ASA views.
Search our resources
Find ASA members
FAQs on publishing and more.
Member only guide to the Australian book industry.
The ASA has raised concerns about the risks generative AI technology poses to the professional lives of authors and illustrators in a submission to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources Inquiry into Supporting Responsible AI.
AI is a complex and rapidly evolving topic which poses a range of issues, from copyright and consumer protection laws to privacy and data protection. In our submission, we have confined our comments to areas within the ASA’s expertise. We acknowledge that, like any technology, artificial intelligence offers new opportunities and efficiencies, but broadly we are concerned about:
As we have reported on previously, we consider the large-scale scraping and exploitation of works without regard to authors and illustrators rights to be outrageously unfair. Generative AI relies on training datasets to produce its outputs – training datasets which include books, journals, essays, articles, “ingested” from the internet without permission from, or compensation to, creators. Accordingly, Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and others have developed potentially lucrative software on the back of the intellectual and creative labour of creators without transparency, without acknowledgement, and without any of that profit being returned to the creators whose work enabled their technology in the first place.
We are disturbed by the potential of Generative AI models to produce and perpetuate inauthentic and fake art, appropriating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ art, stories and culture without reference to Traditional cultural protocols, at a time when the National Cultural Policy has put ‘First Nations first’ and is working on stand-alone legislation to acknowledge and protect ICIP.
We have highlighted to Government the global protests and organised, large-scale creator objections to this unfair appropriation of their work.
It is already so difficult to earn a living wage from writing or illustrating that even a small disruption from Generative AI – and even further market dilution in an already crowded market – may mean the loss of many professional writers and illustrators, a contraction of voices and unique Australian perspectives, and a diminished industry. For a diverse publishing industry, we must safeguard the incentives to create.
Our submission also flags the well-documented bias and inaccuracies of AI-generated text, harmful particularly to women and people of colour, with ‘hallucinations’ (false information) presenting a currently unsolvable problem for all Generative AI models.
We are asking Government to:
Alongside these recommendations, the ASA is actively working on guidelines for authors, a model clause for publishing agreements specifically relating to AI, and an industry Code of Conduct.
We will publish our submission on our website when it becomes publicly available.
To prepare our submission we conducted a survey of our members, and held focus group meetings with creators to understand the ways AI is impacting their careers. We’d like to warmly thank all the creators who gave their time to share their views with us.
We know AI continues to be a major concern for Australian writers and illustrators and will be using ongoing member feedback to inform our advocacy on this issue. If you would like to share any feedback or experiences please contact Lucy Hayward, Marketing & Communications Manager: [email protected].