News & Updates - August 2023

Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.



KKR to Acquire Simon & Schuster for $1.62 Billion

From Axios

"KKR has agreed to buy Simon & Schuster from Paramount for $1.62 billion in an all-cash deal, the company announced Monday.

"Why it matters: One of the country's biggest book publishers will soon be under private equity ownership, after a previous deal with Penguin Random House was blocked over antitrust concerns."

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A.I. Ongoing News

"I Care About Authors": Fiction Analytics Platform Prosecraft Folds After AI Backlash

From Quartz

"British author Hari Kunzru posted a link to on X (formerly Twitter), alleging that the website appears 'to have stolen a lot of books, trained an AI, and are now offering a service based on that data.' He threaded a screenshot of the analysis of his novel White Tears, which included measures like: number of words, vividness, passive voice, use of adverbs, and more, saying that 'I did not consent to this use of my work.'”

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Researchers Figure Out How to Make AI Misbehave, Serve Up Prohibited Content

From Ars Technica

"ChatGPT and its artificially intelligent siblings have been tweaked over and over to prevent troublemakers from getting them to spit out undesirable messages such as hate speech, personal information, or step-by-step instructions for building an improvised bomb. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University last week showed that adding a simple incantation to a prompt—a string of text that might look like gobbledygook to you or me but which carries subtle significance to an AI model trained on huge quantities of web data—can defy all of these defenses in several popular chatbots at once."

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