The Auto Channel

Ghost Autonomy Announces Investment from OpenAI Startup Fund to Bring Multi-Modal LLMs to Autonomous Driving

SAN FRANCISCO--( BUSINESS WIRE )--Ghost Autonomy, a pioneer in scalable autonomy software for consumer cars, today announced a $5 million investment from the OpenAI Startup Fund to bring large-scale, multi-modal large language models (MLLMs) to autonomous driving. The funds will be used to accelerate ongoing research and development of LLM-based complex scene understanding required for urban autonomy. The new investment brings the company’s total funding to $220 million to date.

“Multi-modal models have the potential to expand the applicability of LLMs to many new use cases including autonomy and automotive. With the ability to understand and draw conclusions by combining video, images, and sounds, multi-modal models may create a new way to understand scenes and navigate complex or unusual environments,” said Brad Lightcap, OpenAI's COO and manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund.

MLLMs potentially represent a new architecture for self-driving software, capable of handling the long tail of rare and complex driving scenarios. Where existing single-task networks are limited to their narrow scope and training, LLMs allow autonomous driving systems to reason about driving scenes holistically, utilizing broad-based world knowledge to navigate complex and unusual situations, even those never seen before.

“Solving complex urban driving scenarios in a scalable way has long been the holy grail for this industry – LLMs provide a breakthrough that will finally enable everyday consumer vehicles to reason about and navigate through the toughest scenarios,” stated John Hayes, founder and CEO, Ghost Autonomy. “While LLMs have already proven valuable for offline tasks like data labeling and simulation, we are excited to apply these powerful models directly to the driving task to realize their full potential.”

Ghost’s platform allows leading automakers to bring artificial intelligence and advanced autonomous driving software into the next generation of vehicles, now expanding capabilities and use cases with MLLMs. Ghost is actively testing these capabilities via its development fleet today, and is partnering with automakers to jointly validate and integrate new large models into the autonomy stack.

For more information, including more videos and integration details, visit Ghost’s blog.

About Ghost Autonomy

Ghost makes autonomous driving software for the next generation of consumer cars. It is a software partner to automakers, accelerating new applications of artificial intelligence to help realize the software-defined vehicle. Ghost is pioneering the use of multi-modal large language models (MLLMs) in autonomy. This new software architecture applies the powerful human-like reasoning of large models to the driving task, enabling autonomous vehicles to understand and navigate the long tail of complex driving scenarios, even those never seen before. Ghost was founded in 2017 by John Hayes, who previously co-founded Pure Storage, taking the company public in 2015. Ghost is based in Mountain View, CA, with additional offices in Detroit, Dallas and Sydney.

Stephanie Floyd Bhava Communications for Ghost Autonomy [email protected] +1 (760) 410-8077

Business Wire

Ghost Autonomy Secures OpenAI Funding

  • November 9, 2023
  • Automotive , Technology

Ghost Autonomy, a leader in the autonomous driving software arena, has secured a substantial $5 million boost from the OpenAI Startup Fund. This investment is earmarked for advancing multi-modal large language models (MLLMs), aiming to revolutionize urban driving with sophisticated scene comprehension.

Why It Matters

The significance of integrating MLLMs into autonomous driving is profound. Traditional self-driving systems have limitations when encountering rare or intricate driving conditions. Multi-modal large language models promise to surmount these challenges by enabling cars to process and understand diverse inputs like video, images, and sounds, enhancing their navigational capabilities in complex environments.

  • Ghost Autonomy’s funding has now reached an impressive total of $220 million.
  • The new funds will fuel the R&D of LLMs for enhanced urban driving autonomy.
  • MLLMs could redefine self-driving software, tackling the ‘long tail’ of unusual driving scenarios.
  • The potential of these models extends to real-time navigation, transcending their current offline uses.

Bottom Line

Ghost Autonomy’s recent capital infusion from the OpenAI Startup Fund signifies a pivotal step in autonomous driving technology. As MLLMs evolve, they offer a path to a future where consumer vehicles can autonomously navigate through the most challenging urban landscapes. With its commitment to innovation, Ghost Autonomy not only propels the industry forward but also promises a safer, more efficient driving future, in partnership with leading automotive manufacturers.

Self Drive News

Self Drive News is a premier B2B digital resource meticulously curated for industry professionals, stakeholders, and enthusiasts in the rapidly accelerating world of autonomous vehicles. Rooted in innovation and forward-thinking, we deliver insightful, reliable, and up-to-the-minute news, connecting the diverse and dynamic strands of the autonomous vehicle industry under one interactive platform.

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Ghost Autonomy Wants to Use Smartphone Cameras to Crack Autonomous Driving

Affordable smartphone cameras are great for selfies and maybe level 3 autonomy..

Autonomous Toyota Camry test vehicle

As a child, we would “ghost ride” our bikes. It was a destructive endeavor where we'd jump off our bicycles – typically ahead of a ramp – and watch the ensuing carnage with glee. Decades later, 'ghost riding the whip' became a short-lived phenomenon where a driver would get out of a car as it rolled down the road and dance alongside the rolling hunk of metal and glass before (hopefully) jumping back into the driver's seat. It was YouTube fodder that resulted in far too many collisions.

So it's interesting that Ghost Autonomy would pick, well… that name. Yes, it conjures images of apparitions piloting vehicles while the driver relaxes and possibly watches old videos of people dancing near cars. Who wouldn't want a friendly ghost driving them around? But as I enter the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley all I hear is E-40's Tell Me When to Go (now scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape) in my head.

Ghost Autonomy

The reality is that Ghost is trying to democratize autonomous driving. While there are no driverless vehicles for sale in the United States right now, the goal is that eventually, people will be able to let go of the wheel and relax while their vehicles deliver them to a destination. The issue is that it's a very hard problem to solve. Tesla has been promising the feature for years and the automotive startup world is littered with the corpses of companies that thought they could crack the code while burning through millions of investor dollars to bring autonomy to the masses.

Beyond the burn rates of startups, it's also very expensive. Pricey sensors and high-end computers put the feature out of reach of most vehicles and self-driving will likely make its debut in cars and SUVs that cost around $100,000 or more. Ghost Autonomy wants to deliver autonomy to $30,000 vehicles.

Cell Phone Camera Sensors

Ghost believes it can accomplish this by standing on the shoulders of larger companies. Mainly the corporations that build the high-end cameras in your cell phone, which currently have far more resolution than what many automakers are putting on their vehicles. Ghost places a longer lens so the vehicle can see further and now you have a high-definition sensor on your vehicle.

Ghost Autonomy CEO John Hayes notes that Ghost and really no LIDAR or radar company can match the billions of dollars that go into the research and development of the cameras in our phones.

Plus, they're cheap. A camera cost Ghost about $12 a pop. The CPU that runs all of this, it's about $45.

"The only thing that people care about in the entire cell phone industry is how did you make the camera better," Hayes said. The CEO added that cameras are," improving at a rate that's faster than the rate that LIDAR is improving."

Plus, they're cheap. A camera cost Ghost about $12 a pop. The CPU that runs all of this, it's about $45. The entire sensor package with multiple cameras creates a stereoscopic view of the world 360 degrees around the vehicle. Two cameras pointed in every direction gives the system depth perception the way the two eyes in your head let you determine how far away objects are.

Ghost is also using radar, but not LIDAR. That's not to say the company is anti-LIDAR like Tesla . Instead, it's just too expensive right now. The goal is to get the entire camera and CPU suite to under $1,500. But really the company is not in the business of building hardware. It's merely showing what can be done with less expensive, off-the-shelf hardware so that tier-one suppliers can build the gear for automakers. Instead, it's banking on creating the software that uses that inexpensive sensor suite.

All Objects Are Objects

Like its hardware strategy, Ghost is also doing something a bit different with its Ghost OS software. Instead of training its AI to recognize everything in the world, it just wants the system to know that something is there.

For example, instead of teaching the system to identify things like dogs, children, trees, cars, and bikes, the system just knows when it sees an object, where that thing resides in space, and if it's moving or not, and then classifies it based on where it is and how quickly it's moving. For example, an object that's roughly the shape of a human and moves at the speed of a human is probably a human and the vehicle needs to give that person a bit more space because it's a vulnerable road user.

"The base fundamental algorithm doesn't require identification to understand what's free space and what's not and that allows us to not have the risk of misidentification," Ghost Autonomy's vice-president of marketing and design, Matt Kixmoeller told Motor1.com .

Typically any driver assistance function requires a button to be pressed. Usually, it's to set the adaptive cruise control and maybe there is a second control to enable the lane centering. The Ghost system is built to work with the driver in what Hayes calls “collaborative AI.”

As you drive the system turns itself on and helps out. You move your foot from the accelerator or your hands from the wheel and Ghost takes over. The goal is for your car to drive essentially the way you do and to keep up with traffic without having to enable anything. It's just on and ready to go when you are.

For example, if everyone is doing 75 miles an hour when the speed limit is 65, the Ghost-enabled car will do 75. Instead of sticking to the center of the lane while passing a large truck, it'll move over a bit. It'll even move slightly to the inside of a curve.

The system is still in the testing phase so legally I was unable to get behind the wheel, but what I saw was impressive.

One thing that's an issue with driver assistance systems is mode confusion, it's why Mercedes , General Motors, and BMW have lights on their steering wheels for their hands-free driver assistance features. It's to signify what mode the vehicle is in at any moment so the driver knows when they can safely take their hands off the wheel.

Ghost's driver assistance doesn't have that. Instead, it's there with you the whole time while on the highway and understands when you've taken your hand off the wheel. When you're ready to take back over, you place your hands back on the wheel and you're in control with having to wrestle control away from the system.

Currently, the Ghost OS has a basic highway pilot function and supports automated lane changes. It's doing all this in a Toyota Camry test vehicle the company has specially outfitted with hardware.

The Business Of Giving Everyone Autonomy

A Camry is pretty far from say a Mercedes S-Class which will likely be the first Level 3 vehicle to go on sale in the United States . Ghost's inexpensive hardware solution means inexpensive cars (like a Camry) cars can be outfitted with self-driving hardware and drivers can subscribe to turn on Ghost OS.

Automakers are eyeing subscription models and while the potential buyers of luxury vehicles can afford expensive autonomous systems, those buying a Camry would likely be priced out if an automaker added the thousands of dollars in hardware and software from a level 3-capable S-Class.

But, if an automaker can throw a $1,500 (or less) suite of hardware on all cars and then get folks to pay a little extra every month for the chance to drive without actually driving, Ghost could become very popular with OEMs. The company says it’s already talking to automakers but of course, can't say which ones. What Ghost can say is that it expects something to be on the road as a 2025 model.

So you could soon ghost-ride your not-too-expensive whip without the dancing or YouTube videos that end in disaster. Or at least, that's the plan.

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Ghost Autonomy Raises $5M in Funding

Ghost Autonomy

Ghost Autonomy , a Mountain View, CA-based company which specializes in scalable autonomy software for consumer cars, raised $5M in funding.

The investment, which brought the total amount to $220M to date, was made by OpenAI Startup Fund.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate ongoing research and development of LLM-based complex scene understanding required for urban autonomy.

Led by John Hayes, founder and CEO, Ghost Autonomy makes autonomous driving software for consumer cars. It is a software partner to automakers, accelerating new applications of artificial intelligence to help realize the software-defined vehicle. The company is working on the use of multi-modal large language models (MLLMs) in autonomy. This new software architecture applies the human-like reasoning of large models to the driving task, enabling autonomous vehicles to understand and navigate the long tail of complex driving scenarios.

Ghost’s platform allows automakers to bring artificial intelligence and advanced autonomous driving software into the next generation of vehicles, now expanding capabilities and use cases with MLLMs. The company is actively testing these capabilities via its development fleet today, and is partnering with automakers to jointly validate and integrate new large models into the autonomy stack.

Ghost has additional offices in Detroit, Dallas and Sydney.

ghost autonomy news

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Russell 2000, dólar/libra, bitcoin usd, cmc crypto 200, 33 charts that explain markets and the economy, ghost autonomy and pure storage to host joint session on accelerating ai development data pipelines for autonomous vehicles at automotive usa 2023.

Session to Explore Software’s Critical Role in Modernizing Data Infrastructure and Services for the Automotive Industry

DETROIT, November 01, 2023 --( BUSINESS WIRE )--Ghost Autonomy, a pioneer in scalable autonomy software for consumer cars, today announced that the company’s founder and CEO John Hayes will be speaking on a joint panel at Automotive USA 2023 with Michael Cornwell, Field CTO, Americas at Pure Storage, on how automotive organizations are modernizing data infrastructure and data services to enable high-velocity software development. The event commences on November 8, 2023.

What: Automotive USA is a Reuters event where the industry meets to hear from trailblazing OEMs, cutting-edge solution providers and government agencies to solve various challenges facing the automotive industry today. This year’s event will focus on the new and disruptive technologies that are defining automotive for 2023 including software-defined vehicles, vehicle safety, electrification, and manufacturing and supply chain.

In the workshop titled, "Collect, Label, Train, Simulate, Validate, and Drive: Accelerating the AI Development Data Pipeline for Autonomous, Software-Defined Vehicles," Pure Storage and Ghost Autonomy will explore how the pace of evolution of AI is challenging automotive software development teams to re-think their infrastructure and processes to move faster. Attendees will learn how AI is built, including the various stages of the development pipeline; how to optimize the infrastructure and processes behind AI development; and how to train AI models for a competitive advantage.

When: Wednesday, November 8, at 1:05pm EST

Where: Huntington Place, Detroit, USA

Who: John Hayes is CEO and founder of autonomous vehicle software innovator Ghost Autonomy. Prior to Ghost, John founded Pure Storage, taking the company public (PSTG, $11 billion market cap) in 2015. As Pure’s chief architect, he harnessed the consumer industry’s transition to flash storage (including the iPhone and MacBook Air) to reimagine the enterprise data center, inventing blazing fast flash storage solutions now run by the world’s largest cloud and ecommerce providers, financial and healthcare institutions, science and research organizations, and governments. Like Pure, Ghost uses software to achieve near-perfect reliability and re-defines simplicity and efficiency with commodity consumer hardware.

Michael Cornwell serves as the Field CTO of the Americas at Pure Storage. He is a founding engineer of the company and has served in key management roles in the company's growth. Previously at Microsoft as the general manager of storage technologies for Azure Infrastructure, Michael led the innovation and adoption of new memory and storage technologies across the Azure platform and services. He also led pioneering storage product development at Sun Microsystems and Apple, where he was instrumental in adopting new technologies in Apple products. Michael holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of California at Santa Cruz and has been awarded 68 U.S. patents.

To learn more about Ghost Autonomy, visit https://www.ghostautonomy.com and sign up for Ghost’s mailing list to stay up to date.

About Pure Storage

Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG ) uncomplicates data storage, forever. Pure delivers a cloud experience that empowers every organization to get the most from their data while reducing the complexity and expense of managing the infrastructure behind it. Pure's commitment to providing true storage as-a-service gives customers the agility to meet changing data needs at speed and scale, whether they are deploying traditional workloads, modern applications, containers, or more. Pure believes it can make a significant impact in reducing data center emissions worldwide through its environmental sustainability efforts, including designing products and solutions that enable customers to reduce their carbon and energy footprint. And with the highest Net Promoter Score in the industry, Pure's ever-expanding list of customers are among the happiest in the world. For more information, visit www.purestorage.com .

About Ghost Autonomy

Ghost makes autonomous driving software for the next generation of consumer cars. It is a software partner to automakers, accelerating new applications of artificial intelligence to help realize the software-defined vehicle. Ghost is pioneering the use of multi-modal large language models (MLLMs) in autonomy. This new software architecture applies the powerful human-like reasoning of large models to the driving task, enabling autonomous vehicles to understand and navigate the long tail of complex driving scenarios, even those never seen before. Ghost was founded in 2017 by John Hayes, who previously co-founded Pure Storage, taking the company public in 2015. Ghost is based in Mountain View, CA with additional offices in Detroit, Dallas and Sydney.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231101328367/en/

Stephanie Floyd Bhava Communications for Ghost Autonomy [email protected] +1 (760) 410-8077

Ghost Autonomy Engine

Download the tech brief.

ghost autonomy news

Download the Ghost Autonomy Engine tech brief

Autonomy software.

ghost autonomy news

A universal video network that combines stereo disparity and mono motion to calculate the distance, absolute velocity, and trajectory of objects both near and far without requiring object recognition.

ghost autonomy news

A novel approach to processing raw HD radar outputs extends perception distance and provides resiliency in inclement weather, poor lighting, and occlusion scenarios as an independent sensor modality.

ghost autonomy news

Interprets the real-time environment and identifies drivable paths by detecting road markers and lane semantics and combining them with vision and radar data.

The driving program analyzes the outputs from Perception and performs the task of driving, executing standard and defensive maneuvers to optimize safety, comfort, and route.

From lane centering and distance keeping to merging and changing lanes, Ghost executes driving maneuvers by precisely actuating the steering, accelerator, and brake.

Aided by 360° perception and reaction times that are three times faster than a human driver, Ghost is capable of aggressive braking and swerving to avoid dangerous obstacles and events on the road.

ghost autonomy news

Ghost will pass slow vehicles, drive in eligible HOV lanes, and use OTA connectivity and real-time traffic data to continuously optimize routing decisions.

Multiple layers of software and hardware redundancy enable Ghost to drive safely without relying on a human backup, even in the event of failures or occlusions.

With high availability software and redundant sensors, sensor modalities, and processors, Ghost can continue driving safely in the case of sensor occlusions, dropped frames, or even full sensor or compute failure.

In case of the most severe failures, Ghost will achieve a minimal risk condition with an independent driving computer designed to bring the car to a safe stop without human intervention even if the primary system is compromised.

The approved operational design domain (ODD) is actively enforced and can be modified via OTA updates to expand driving areas and use cases and execute targeted restrictions if ever necessary.

Using an in-cabin camera equipped with artificial intelligence, Ghost is developing sophisticated driver intent perception models capable of transforming the interaction between car and driver.

ghost autonomy news

Ghost monitors steering wheel and pedal inputs as well as the driver's hand positions, head and skeletal posture, and eye gaze to understand when to transition driving responsibilities to and from the human driver.

As a L4 system, Ghost does not require driver attention or intervention when engaged. Equipped with driver intent perception that can disambiguate accidental input on the car controls from deliberate driving activity, Ghost seamlessly begins driving when the driver simply lets go of the wheel and pedals. Likewise, the driver can take back control at any time by taking the wheel or pressing the pedals.

A real-time operating environment responsible for high-performance execution of the Autonomy Software.

Verified to be bug-free using formal software verification methods adapted from aerospace and defense.

Works seamlessly with a range of sensor and compute configurations, enabling OEMs to customize hardware across models and trim levels and deliver future hardware upgrades.

Implements best practices for hardening, securing communications, and intrusion detection to manage cybersecurity risk.

Enables secure update and rollback of software versions and facilitates unique feature entitlement per subscriber.

Sends unusual road scenes and system exceptions to Autonomy Cloud for training and analysis.

Securely directs in-car data flow between sensors, driving computer, and vehicle controls.

Download the Ghost Autonomy Engine Tech Brief

Reference hardware.

ghost autonomy news

In partnership with:

ghost autonomy news

Design Principles

ghost autonomy news

Autonomy Studio

ghost autonomy news

APIs in both the car and the cloud facilitate deep integration across core systems ranging from the CAN bus to OTA updates to the HMI, delivering data in real-time and powering immersive visual experiences.

Sports coupes and heavy-duty pickup trucks are meant to drive differently. Develop custom vehicle and brand-specific integrations, maneuvers, and driving styles without having to build a new software version for each implementation.

Leverage the complete sensor package and Ghost’s AI team to build experiences beyond autonomy, from facial recognition-enabled personalization to gesture-based cabin controls.

Make each vehicle brand unique by partnering with Ghost’s in-house design function to explore, test, and implement deeply embedded HMI, haptic, auditory, mobile, and voice control features.

Autonomy Cloud

ghost autonomy news

The communications hub delivering connected and mobile experiences to the Ghost-enabled fleet and a platform for collaboration between Ghost and OEM partners.

ghost autonomy news

Frequent over-the-air software updates improve the driving experience, deliver new capabilities, and expand the ODD.

Manages feature entitlement per vehicle, enabling and/or gating capabilities as users modify their subscriptions.

Test and production vehicles capture and upload relevant sensor and driving data in privacy-compliant fashion for training and analysis, enabling constant iteration based upon unusual road scenes, hardware and software exceptions, car and driver behavior, and more.

Syncs with OEM infrastructure for account and subscription management and driver personalization.

Centralized AI supercomputer training infrastructure for joint neural network development and validation.

ghost autonomy news

Neural networks are rapidly trained and verified using auto-labeled training data and can be rapidly re-trained to ensure compatibility with OEM-specific vehicles and sensors.

Custom-built GPU nodes for AI training plus dedicated high-bandwidth public cloud connections for leveraging infinitely scalable cloud compute.

Ghost’s training and automation practices enable a large team of data scientists to work on many models in parallel.

Ghost believes in working closely with the regulatory community and pursues system validation jointly with OEM partners.

ghost autonomy news

Ghost tools and resources support OEM processes for validation, certification, regulatory compliance, and reporting.

To support OEM quality and risk mitigation efforts, Ghost preserves neural network versioning for proactive risk assessment and real-time issue management.

The operational design domain can be modified via OTA updates to expand to approved driving areas and use cases and execute targeted restrictions if ever necessary.

ghost autonomy news

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Ghostwriters Emerge From the Shadows

Practitioners of the solitary and highly secretive profession got together to compare notes and celebrate their work.

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Madeleine Morel holds a microphone, standing up against a backdrop of bookshelves, while wearing a dark jacket and a black and white striped shirt.

By Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter

Ghostwriting is a secretive profession. It’s long been maintained that a good ghost writer, like a well-behaved child in an extreme version of the old proverb, should be neither seen nor heard.

So it was unusual for a group of around 140 ghostwriters to gather, as they did in Manhattan on Monday, to schmooze and celebrate their work with awards, panel discussions and keynote speeches. The one-day conference, called the Gathering of the Ghosts, took place at a moment when ghostwriting is in high demand and gaining recognition as an art form of its own, after years of operating largely in the shadows.

“There’s great value in building this community because of the nature of what we do,” said Daniel Paisner, who hosts a podcast about ghostwriting called “As Told To” and has collaborated on 17 New York Times best-sellers. “We do it in a vacuum, sitting alone in our underwear in our offices. We don’t get out much. So I think it’s helpful to be able to compare notes.”

Held at the New York Academy of Medicine, in a room lined with old, leather-bound medical books overlooking a snowy Central Park, the event included panels about finding the right publisher for a project, whether A.I. might render ghostwriters irrelevant and conversations about how much a ghostwriter can charge (the consensus: more). The profession has a history of being undervalued, and one panelist advised everyone in the audience to double their rates and add 20 percent.

“Is it good to be a ghostwriter?” Madeleine Morel, an agent who specializes in matchmaking book projects with ghostwriters, said at the event. “I’ll paraphrase Dickens: It’s the best of times and the worst of times. It’s the best of times because there’s never been so much work out there. It’s the worst of times because it’s become so competitive.”

Jodi Lipper, who has ghostwritten 25 books, including a collaboration with the shoe designer Steve Madden, said she was gratified to see awards that recognize ghostwriters for their talents. “There has been this misconception for a long time that ghostwriters are people who couldn't write their own book, that they are these hacks,” she said.

Lipper and other ghostwriters argue that their job requires not only literary chops but a host of other skills, including wrangling talent and drawing out illustrative stories from their subjects. The writer must also effectively channel the subject’s voice, so readers feel like they’re hearing directly from the person whose face is on the cover.

“I have a whole process — like for every client, I have a different scent,” said Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts. For one project she might put lavender essential oils in her diffuser, she explained, and for another, she might use lemon. This helps her slip into her subject’s voices, she said.

Lewis-Giggetts received an award at the conference on Monday for the book “Sisterhood Heals,” although the name on the cover is Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. (Her scent for that book was lemongrass.) She also writes under her own name, and her essay collection, “Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration,” won an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award last year.

“I have my own work, but I’m still doing a lot of ghosting,” she said. “Quite frankly, because it pays the bills.”

While many celebrities and politicians maintain the pretense that they are writing their own books, it’s becoming more common to acknowledge one’s ghostwriter and the occupation has gained more visibility. Collaborators for celebrity memoirs — which can be enormously lucrative for publishers — are in increasingly high demand, with some making six figures for their work.

The genres that many ghostwriters work in — memoirs by actors and musicians, athletes, chief executives and self-help gurus — are the types of books that publishers are pouring money into, because a well-known author with an established following can potentially sell millions of copies. Some of last year’s top-selling nonfiction books were ghostwritten memoirs — Britney Spears’ “ The Woman in Me ” and Prince Harry’s “ Spare .”

The field’s growth has been good for writers, too. Often, professionals want a book to their name: Books can spruce up a résumé, or help land keynote speeches or consulting gigs. Those authors also need ghostwriters.

Dan Gerstein, the chief executive of Gotham Ghostwriters, an agency that co-hosted Monday’s conference, said the field is flooded with former journalists, for example.

“Ghostwriting is the best thing that’s happened to a lot of writers, because without ghostwriting I don’t know what they’d be doing,” said Morel, the agent, who noted that she has orchestrated ghostwriter matches for more than 60 New York Times best-sellers. “Former editors, former journalists, former mid-list writers — they’d probably be working at Starbucks.”

Top-tier ghostwriters are also being lauded for their literary skills, with some publishers even touting their participation in a project as a hint to readers and booksellers that a memoir will be juicy and artfully written. The actress Demi Moore gave ample credit to her ghostwriter, the New Yorker writer Ariel Levy, for working on Moore’s memoir, “ Inside Out .”

In a sign of how much more open ghostwriters have become about their work, J.R. Moehringer, an in-demand and widely acclaimed ghostwriter who has worked with the tennis star Andre Agassi and Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, wrote in The New Yorker about the challenges of working on Prince Harry’s memoir.

Moehringer revealed debates that he and Harry had over particular scenes, and described how he would talk himself down when they clashed: “For the thousandth time in my ghostwriting career, I reminded myself: It’s not your effing book.”

Still, some stigma remains around the profession, and organizers and attendees of the ghost gathering hoped the event would help to clear misconceptions.

“There’s so much onus on your own work, on your own voice, on your own story,” said Holly Gleason, who was nominated for an award for a book she wrote with the country musician Miranda Lambert. “But the truth is, telling a story really well is important.”

But some delicacy lingers around revealing a ghostwriter’s participation in a work. To be eligible for awards, both the official authors and their paid collaborators had to co-submit for consideration and agree to share the award.

Years ago, Paisner said, he was invited to a dinner party at the apartment of former Mayor Ed Koch, where Paisner introduced himself as the person who helped Koch write his book. Later that evening, Koch asked for a word. “He said, ‘I would prefer if you never say that again,’” Paisner recalled.

For a long time, Paisner said, people seemed to believe that these books were written by having a person of renown speak into a tape recorder and then bringing in a ghostwriter to transcribe those thoughts.

“It is not that, and I think readers are slowly coming around to accept that it is not that,” Paisner said. “That these are not the musing of the rich and famous as dictated to the lowly ghostwriter.”

  More about Elizabeth A. Harris

Alexandra Alter writes about books, publishing and the literary world for The Times. More about Alexandra Alter

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Ghosts Season 3's New Story Update Follows Up On Major Mystery & Season 2 Cliffhanger

  • Ghosts season 3 will follow up on the season 2 cliffhanger of which character crossed over to the other side.
  • The premiere will also involve Sam and Jay's plan to turn their barn into a restaurant.
  • The Ghosts cast have received pay increases for season 3, suggesting that none of the main spirits have crossed over yet.

New details about Ghosts season 3 follows up on a major cliffhanger. An adaptation of the British series with the same name, the CBS version debuted in 2021. It focuses on married couple Samantha ( iZombie star Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar, Never Have I Ever) and chronicles what happens to their lives when Samantha has a near-death experience and starts to communicate with spirits.

Now, with the Ghosts season 3 premiere roughly a month away, there are new hints about which spirit got "sucked off" at the end of season 2. In the show's parlance, getting sucked off has a less NSFW meaning, but rather refers to when a ghost crosses over to the other side. According to TV Insider , the season 3 premiere will directly follow up on which character crossed over . Along with this news, three new images from the season 3 premiere have also been released. Check them out, below:

Ghosts season 3 debuts Thursday, February 15 at 9 PM ET on CBS.

What To Know About Ghosts Season 3

The logline for the season 3 premiere promises that Sam, Jay, and the remaining ghosts will have to unravel the mystery of which spirit crossed over. And, continuing the show's more episodic nature, Sam and Jay will have to relocate an owl in order to turn their barn into a restaurant for Jay. The first half of the premiere, which addresses the cliffhanger, goes back to when Sam and Jay are sitting in their car outside their estate only to see a bright light, seemingly indicating one of the characters crossing over.

It's also worth noting that the Ghosts cast secured pay increases ahead of season 3. According to reporting from Deadline , McIver and Ambudkar's paychecks doubled to $250,000 an episode. The ensemble playing the ghosts — Brandon Scott Jones (Isaac), Richie Moriarty (Pete), Danielle Pinnock (Alberta), Asher Grodman (Trevor), Román Zaragoza (Sasappis), Sheila Carrasco (Flower), Rebecca Wisocky (Hetty) and Devan Chandler Long (Thorfinn) — were mentioned as earning $100,000 an episode for the upcoming season.

Ghosts Season 2 Finale: What It Means For The Show's New Episodes

The news further solidifies Ghosts as a big hit for CBS. The sitcom ranks as the second most-watched comedy on broadcast, in a close battle with the soon-to-be-concluded Young Sheldon . But the pay increase may well suggest that none of the main spirits have yet crossed over, which opens up the door to the other minor characters that have recurred on the show.

Ghosts is available to watch on Paramount+.

Source: TV Insider, Deadline

Ghosts (US)

Ghosts is a CBS sitcom that is based on the British series of the same name. Premiering in 2021, the series focuses on married couple Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who have inherited a mansion from one of Sam's distant relatives. They turn the house into a bed and breakfast. When Sam has a near-death experience, she begins to interact with the quirky group of ghosts who live in the mansion.

Release Date 2021-10-07

Cast Rose McIver

Genres Sitcom

Network CBS

Streaming Service(s) HBO Max

Ghosts Season 3's New Story Update Follows Up On Major Mystery & Season 2 Cliffhanger

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