Margaret Atwood is among thousands of authors backing an open letter urging AI firms to gain permission before incorporating copyrighted work into their technologies.

The Handmaid’s Tale writer and other high-profile names from the literary world such as James Patterson and Suzanne Collins have endorsed the open letter from the Authors Guild.

“Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry provide the ‘food’ for AI systems, endless meals for which there has been no bill,” the letter reads in part.

“You’re spending billions of dollars to develop AI technology. It is only fair that you compensate us for using our writings, without which AI would be banal and extremely limited.”

The letter is addressed to OpenAI, Meta, Microsoft and other AI producers.

The guild announced that other signatories include the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Jennifer Egan, Michael Chabon and Louise Erdrich, as well as authors Jonathan Franzen, Celeste Ng, Nora Roberts and Ron Chernow.

“If creators aren’t compensated fairly, they can’t afford to create,” Roberts said.

“If writers aren’t paid to write, they can’t afford to write. Human beings create and write stories human beings read.

“We’re not robots to be programmed, and AI can’t create human stories without taking from human stories already written.”