artificial intelligence

Sci-fi magazine suspends submissions due to humans sending ‘bot-written’ work

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Sci-fi magazine suspends submissions due to humans sending ‘bot-written’ work
Clarkesworld Magazine editor Neil Clarke is suspending the submissions process so they can focus on editing legitimate written work

MANILA, Philippines – Clarkesworld Magazine, the long-running online science fiction and fantasy magazine, suspended accepting submissions on Tuesday, February 21 (February 20, US time) due to an influx of plagiarism and what Clarkesworld editor Neil Clarke called “bot-written spam.”

Clarke described how prospective submitters would use artificial intelligence (AI) tools like chatbots to make written fiction in an apparent attempt to make a quick buck or get their foot in the door towards legitimacy.

In a blog post on February 15, Clarke said, “Towards the end of 2022, there was another spike in plagiarism and then ‘AI’ chatbots started gaining some attention, putting a new tool in their arsenal and encouraging more to give this ‘side hustle’ a try. It quickly got out of hand.”

The number of spam submissions resulting in bans, Clarke said, has reached more than a third of the total number of submissions (38%) and is increasing. Worse still, as the AI-powered tools get better, the ability to weed out such types of writing gets harder.

Speaking with Kotaku, Clarke noted the suspension of accepting submissions was a stopgap measure to allow for work to actually progress.

Said Clarke, “I could either play whack-a-mole all day or close submissions and work with the legitimate submissions.”

Clarke did not disclose the methods used to determine chatbot-powered writing, so as to not tip his hand to spammers and scammers trying to profit from sending AI-powered fiction. –

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.