A few days ago we shared a story on what appeared to be a fake book being sold on Amazon called ‘Fire and Fury: The Story of the 2023 Maui Fire and its Implications for Climate Change‘. There were many red flags with this book, including it was somehow published on August 10th, only 2 days into the fires, and the author, “Dr. Miles Stones”, doesn’t seem to be a real person.
Suddenly, that book was taken down and replaced with different version written by “Kathryn Forbes Ph.D.”. This version of the book has a disclaimer at the front and says it was published through Greenhouse Publishing. However, once again there are many red flags.
As was the case with the last author, “Dr.Miles Stones”, a search on all major search engines show’s no record of a Kathryn Forbes PhD who is a writer. There was a Kathryn Forbes who was an American writer, however, she died in 1966.
The internet has picked up on this story and it is garnering significant attention.
Whereas I, and many others, think what we are seeing here is someone using an AI to cash in on hot topics and current new , others are putting the pieces together in very different ways. The internet is bursting with all different theories; from a New World Order Plot, to Dr. Stones being a Nostradamus profit of sorts in the hiding trying to tell us what’s coming.
To be clear, my point is not for censorship of ideas, and I’m not here to debate how others are putting these red flags together… I’m pretty open minded these days about many things, however, open-mindedness to new ideas and theories must be grounded in logic, deductive reasoning, and not driven by fear.
This is the problem that can arise when there are no checks and balances in place for accuracy and authenticity. When people feel they are being lied to they can start to mistrust everything. “Honesty plays a crucial role in any situation. Dishonesty can thus be expected to have damaging effects on social coherence (when we) cannot trust the information or goods.” (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4123708/).
In general, people are more anxious these days, and anxiety is often fueled by not knowing who or what to trust. Studies from the United States, United Kingdom, China, and other countries are documenting increases in overall levels of depression, anxiety, and distress in their populations. Research shows that anxiety notably impacts a person’s ability to think clearly. As such, with mainstream news pumping out mostly fear-based stories 24/7 and now, a flood of fake AI books hitting online bookstores, clearly something needs to happen here.
Call to Action
AIs are being used to piece together incongruent and changing news coverage which is then complied into a book and passed off as a well researched document created by real people with expertise. Both of the alleged fake authors, “Miles Stones” and “Kathryn Forbes” have PhD’s, giving the illuison of authority we can trust.
Allowing anyone to publish on anything they want while pretending to be an expert is dangerous. Freedom of expression is absolutly important, however, pretending to be an expert (and human being) instead of an AI, and then monopolizing on a tragedy is deeply immoral if not illegal. Is this not fraud?
Amazon isn’t the only platform allowing this. In a recent piece by Jane Friedman titled, How AI-Generated Books Could Hurt Self-Publishing Authors, she points out that Barnes & Noble also had this book up for sale (now removed).
One of the larger issues here is that technology is moving faster than Copyright Laws. With the rise of AI materials flooding online bookshops, the FTC released a statment on August 16th with several “suggestions” aimed at sellers;
Below is a screenshot of a “dedication” from latest version of Fire and Fury. If this claim of “contributions” is in any way sincere, and not just another ploy to cash in through manipulating our emotions, a step towards real justice would be giving any earnings from this “book” to the Maui people.
An avid book reader and proud library card holder, Angela is new to the world of e-Readers. She has a background in education, emergency response, fitness, loves to be in nature, travelling and exploring. With an honours science degree in anthropology, Angela also studied writing after graduation. She has contributed work to The London Free Press, The Gazette, The Londoner, Best Version Media, Lifeliner, and Citymedia.ca.