Within hours of King Charles’s cancer diagnosis being revealed last Monday, AI-generated books had appeared for sale online, detailing inaccurate, insensitive and intrusive claims about his condition.
The palace announced that the King was consulting his lawyers to push back against this outrageous invasion of his privacy.
Cobbled together from a range of internet sources, the books are nothing more than computer-created lies. The intimate conversations they supposedly detail between the King and his doctors are, in fact, rehashed from social media sites and other online sources, in which people have chosen to share their experiences of cancer treatment.
One can only imagine how distressing it all is for Charles and the rest of the Royal Family. But he is not alone.
Very soon after my own book, The Plot: The Political Assassination Of Boris Johnson, was released last November, I was horrified to discover that Amazon was selling AI-produced biographies of me, costing £12.50 and including sensationalist blurbs.
One of the AI-written books about the King’s cancer on Amazon
One such title, Nadine Dorries Biography Book: The Untold Story Of The Outspoken Boris Johnson Minister Shaking Things Up, claimed to be an ‘engaging masterpiece’.
Needless to say, I hadn’t approved any of these fakes. Even following my complaints to Amazon, the ‘Biography Book’ remains on sale, supposedly without contravening the website’s guidelines.
It bears a front-cover photograph of a woman — possibly AI-generated herself. She has strangely familiar characteristics such as platinum hair, blue eyes, similar bone structure and prominent cheekbones — but she certainly isn’t me.
The palace announced that the King was consulting his lawyers to push back against this outrageous invasion of his privacy. Pictured: Charles and Camilla on Sunday
This book claims to reveal the ‘multifaceted layers of Dorries’s life, chronicling her rise to success, political ideology, and unwavering determination to make a difference’.
Instead, it’s a compilation of newspaper cuttings and other sources stitched together by an AI robot.
It broke my heart to read an Amazon review from someone who had bought it for his wife for Christmas, to go alongside his purchase of The Plot.
‘The book is A4, very large print and 65 pages,’ he wrote.
‘Any person could read this in under an hour . . . Clearly a quick money-making opportunity for the publisher. Only gave it 1 star, as you can’t give less.’
I’m horrified to think that people are being ripped off by this tech-generated garbage, believing it is something I have produced or sanctioned.
Consumers, authors — and the King himself — must now be protected from such nonsense, and I hope that’s where the royal lawyers will focus their attentions.
It is no secret that the reason Jeff Bezos launched Amazon by selling books was because the well-off middle classes buy them — and, he reasoned, once they were comfortable shopping for books on his website, they’d use it for everything else, too.
Amazon is now the global superstore — and it was built on the sweat and toil of writers.
The company is scooping up to 65 per cent of the price of every one of these fake books sold on its platform.
The law needs to be amended. All AI work must be clearly labelled so that consumers must know what they are buying.
That way, we can decide for ourselves whether or not to waste our money — and always choose the real thing instead.
Don’t be fooled by senior Labour figures schmoozing the City, making out they have become the party of growth and prosperity. If they win the next election, it will be back to business as usual as soon as the champagne (socialist) corks stop popping. The trade unions who fund the party will be calling the shots and Starmer, as was the case with so many Labour leaders before him, will have no choice but to bend to their demands. In no time at all, our economy will be in a far worse state.
It’s the worst-kept secret in Westminster that Rishi Sunak, having desperately wanted to become Prime Minister, now totally hates the job. What a miserable situation to find yourself in! Maybe there will be an early snap election.
If Rishi is hating it that much, I can’t see him remaining in the UK throughout the summer recess — and the polls are getting worse with every month that passes. Better to go now and at least leave some of the party to survive and regroup. We now hear he has no intention of asking Boris for help — even though Boris won two mayoral elections in London when the Conservatives, under David Cameron, were trailing in the polls.
The Brexit referendum took off when Boris joined the Leave campaign, and, of course, he won a stonking 80-seat majority at the General Election in 2019. In the words of a former ministerial colleague: ‘Get over yourself, Rishi — and pick up the phone.
Why snowdrops move me to tears
Snowdrops bursting into life in midwinter
When British soldiers returned from the Crimean War in the 1850s, they arrived with pockets full of snowdrop bulbs, native to the lands in which they had fought. Walking the dogs through our small village churchyard on Sunday, I noticed that many of the older graves around the perimeter were covered in white blankets of snowdrops.
I unexpectedly found my eyes filling with tears. Graves long-forgotten, untended, with no living relatives to lay flowers, were more beautiful than more recent additions — including my own late husband’s.
I intend to put that right, and have ordered supplies of snowdrop bulbs to plant for next year in the knowledge that when I have finally joined him there, we will put on a flourishing display, together.
Hats off to the royal stand-ins
The women in the Royal Family are doing what women always do in a crisis: putting their heads down and keeping the show on the road. At a conference in Texas over the weekend, Fergie — who, like the King, is battling cancer — reassured the crowds that ‘all will be well and we will fight on’.
Meanwhile, Queen Camilla and Princess Anne — 76 and 73 respectively — are working punishing hours to ensure that no one is let down while Charles undergoes treatment and Kate recovers after her recent abdominal surgery. Just a glance at Camilla and Anne’s schedules left me in need of a lie down.
We should count ourselves lucky that we have two such indomitable women among our royals. I just hope they’re both getting the support they deserve: their health is important, too.
Actor Ralph Fiennes is absolutely right — ‘trigger warnings’ in theatres are absurd. Of course, audiences should be shocked and disturbed…and laugh and cry at what they see on stage. That is what theatre is for, to stir the emotions and to lift you into another world. Trigger warnings are as bad as spoilers. Where has all the fun gone in this crazy woke world?
Taylor Swift made the mammoth trip from Japan to Las Vegas at the weekend to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play in the Super Bowl, flying through nine time zones to do so. On her way, she had to contend with a faulty flush on the loo of her private jet. It just shows that no matter how rich you are, everyone needs a good plumber.
Don’t you wish you were still dating Nicole, Lewis?
Nicole Scherzinger, 45, won an award for her role in Sunset Boulevard at the weekend. Pictured: In Cannes in May last year
Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, dazzled as she collected her award for Best Performer In A Musical (for Sunset Boulevard) at Sunday’s WhatsOnStage ceremony. At 45, she has never looked hotter. I can only imagine that Lewis Hamilton and every other ex must be kicking himself, while her former Scotland rugby player fiance, Thom Evans, has won the catch of his life.