Clarkesworld Magazine Temporarily Closes Submissions After Surge in ChatGPT Generated Stories
Posted on February 22, 2023
AI can now generate stories and scammers are already using the tool to try and get published. Editors don't want to receive these subpar AI-generated submissions. Clarkesworld Magazine is among publications getting bombed by this new form of submission spam that is a result of the new ChatGPT AI tool.
Neil Clarke, Editor of Clarkesworld, announced that the science fiction magazine is temporarily closing its doors to submissions after receiving a large amount of submissions clearly created with the help of ChatGPT. He explains the decision in a series of tweets.
Clarke also shared a graph that shows a massive increase in submission bans since ChatGPT arrived. The magazine bans people caught plagiarizing from future submissions. They have gone from having to ban a few people a month to banning hundreds of submitters in the past couple months. Clarke calls it a concerning trend in a blog post.
Debated posting it here, but...https://t.co/IxePjTlpRx— clarkesworld (@clarkesworld) February 15, 2023
This is a problem for short fiction submissions and it's not just going to go away. The link goes into details, but this is a graph of submission bans since 2019. Plagiarism and bot-written spam. pic.twitter.com/pRSVX4mpKt
Magazines that pay writers are receiving the bulk of the AI-generated submissions. Clarke writers, "I've reached out to several editors and the situation I'm experiencing is by no means unique. It does appear to be hitting higher-profile 'always open' markets much harder than those with limited submission windows or lower pay rates."
Magazine editors can spot patterns in these AI-generated stories fairly easily but the spam is going to be a problem. One solution Clarke mentions is editors could turn to soliciting entries. A PC Magazine article suggests filtering software to weed out the AI spam but that could be costly for publications. Filtering software also isn't perfect and as the AIs improve it would need constant updating.