This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real Kara Swisher.
Credit: Getty Images

UPDATE: Feb. 29, 2024, 11:02 a.m. EST This story has been updated to include a statement from Amazon.

The veteran Silicon Valley journalist Kara Swisher has a new memoir out. But if you’re buying it on Amazon don’t be misled into buying AI-generated garbage.

According to 404 Media, ripoffs of Kara Swisher’s new book Burn Book: A Tech Love Story, have proliferated on Amazon. A quick search for “Kara Swisher burn book” on shows the actual book as the first result. But what follows are pages of (unauthorized, we’re assuming) biographies about the life and times of the tech journalist, capitalizing on the book’s anticipated release.

a book about Kara Swisher on Amazon
That author name sounds really fake.
Credit: Amazon

This isn’t the first time Amazon has been flooded with AI-generated books. Last August, author Jane Friedman was shocked to discover she had written half a dozen books. Except Friedman hadn’t written them, and she justifiably believes they were AI-generated. Why? Because her extensive writings are available online and easy to recreate using generative AI. Although the Swisher books are written by authors with honestly, really fake-sounding names like Cheryl J. Stackhouse and Kara Press, their synopses sound a lot like AI-generated text scraped from Swisher’s Wikipedia page.


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Some of the books like Kara Swisher: Silicon Valley’s Bulldog (A Biography) by Jane Coelho, don’t even feature Swisher on the cover, but a woman who bears a passing resemblance.

a book about Kara Swisher on Amazon
Um, that’s not Kara Swisher.
Credit: Amazon

Kara Swisher Book: How She Became Silicon Valley’s Most Influential Journalist by the aforementioned Stackhouse has what looks like an AI-generated image of Swisher as its cover. The image of Swisher has that smooth, waxy look reminiscent of AI’s telltale style.

a book about Kara Swisher on Amazon featuring an AI generated image of Swisher
Wow, this book is 77 pages long!
Credit: Amazon

By the way, Stackhouse has published 23 biographies in 2024, including ones about Brittany Griner and Gypsy Rose. Man, she is prolific.

Even if these books aren’t AI-generated, you’re probably not going to get the juicy and captivating story of Swisher’s encounters with the tech elite you would find in her real book. Kara Swisher Book: How She Became Silicon Valley’s Most Influential Journalist is a whole 77 pages long. AI-generated or not, this content calls Amazon’s quality control, or lack thereof, into question. And now that generative AI tools are widely available, making it easy to “write” books in a matter of minutes, it’s nearly impossible to stem the flow of AI-generated garbage on Amazon, or anywhere on the internet for that matter.

At the time of publication, it looks like some of these books have already been taken down. Amazon confirmed they have removed “a number of titles that violated our guidelines” in a statement to Mashable. “We do not allow AI-generated content that creates a poor customer experience. We have proactive and reactive measures to evaluate content in our store,” said Amazon spokesperson Ashley Vanicek.

All it took was a highly-publicized memoir of a venerated journalist for Amazon to catch on. Once again, thanks Kara Swisher.

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Cecily Mauran

Cecily is a tech reporter at Mashable who covers AI, Apple, and emerging tech trends. Before getting her master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she spent several years working with startups and social impact businesses for Unreasonable Group and B Lab. Before that, she co-founded a startup consulting business for emerging entrepreneurial hubs in South America, Europe, and Asia. You can find her on Twitter at @cecily_mauran.


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