ChatGPT-generated pitches prompt sci-fi publisher to close submissions
Sci-fi publisher Clarkesworld says it is currently not receiving new submissions as the number of scammy pitches skyrocketed to more than 500.
Clarkesworld, one of the most esteemed publishers of science fiction short stories, announced closing submissions following a flood of AI-generated pitches that overburdened its editing crew.
The magazine is known to be one of the few paying publishers to accept open submissions for short stories from new writers.
In a blog post, Clarkesworld's founding editor, Neil Clarke, noted that the magazine would normally receive an average of 10 plagiarised submissions per month. However, with the release of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT, the number of rejected submissions has soared.
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He highlighted that in January, Clarkesworld rejected 100 submissions, while in February to date, this number skyrocketed to more than 500.
"I've reached out to several editors and the situation I'm experiencing is by no means unique," Clarke said, adding, "It does appear to be hitting higher-profile 'always open' markets much harder than those with limited submission windows or lower pay rates."
He considered that "it's clear that business as usual won’t be sustainable and I worry that this path will lead to an increased number of barriers for new and international authors. Short fiction needs these people."
"It's not just going to go away on its own and I don’t have a solution," he added.
The editor pointed out that "the people causing the problem are from outside the [science fiction and fantasy] community. Largely driven in by 'side hustle' experts making claims of easy money with ChatGPT. They are driving this and deserve some of the disdain shown to the AI developers."
According to Clarke, submissions will reopen but on an unspecified date.
In similar controversies, the Colorado state art fair unknowingly awarded first prize in its "emerging digital artists" category to an image created by the AI tool Midjourney.
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