How The ChatGPT Watermark Functions And Why It Might Be Defeated

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OpenAI’s ChatGPT presented a method to automatically create content however plans to present a watermarking function to make it simple to find are making some people anxious. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there might be a method to defeat it.

ChatGPT is an extraordinary tool that online publishers, affiliates and SEOs simultaneously enjoy and dread.

Some online marketers enjoy it due to the fact that they’re discovering brand-new methods to utilize it to create content briefs, lays out and intricate posts.

Online publishers are afraid of the possibility of AI content flooding the search results page, supplanting professional short articles composed by human beings.

Subsequently, news of a watermarking function that unlocks detection of ChatGPT-authored content is similarly prepared for with anxiety and hope.

Cryptographic Watermark

A watermark is a semi-transparent mark (a logo or text) that is embedded onto an image. The watermark signals who is the initial author of the work.

It’s largely seen in pictures and progressively in videos.

Watermarking text in ChatGPT includes cryptography in the type of embedding a pattern of words, letters and punctiation in the type of a secret code.

Scott Aaronson and ChatGPT Watermarking

An influential computer researcher called Scott Aaronson was worked with by OpenAI in June 2022 to work on AI Security and Alignment.

AI Safety is a research field worried about studying ways that AI may present a harm to human beings and developing ways to avoid that kind of unfavorable disturbance.

The Distill clinical journal, featuring authors connected with OpenAI, defines AI Safety like this:

“The objective of long-term expert system (AI) safety is to guarantee that advanced AI systems are reliably lined up with human worths– that they dependably do things that individuals desire them to do.”

AI Alignment is the expert system field interested in making certain that the AI is aligned with the designated goals.

A big language model (LLM) like ChatGPT can be used in such a way that might go contrary to the goals of AI Alignment as defined by OpenAI, which is to develop AI that benefits mankind.

Accordingly, the factor for watermarking is to avoid the abuse of AI in a way that harms humanity.

Aaronson described the factor for watermarking ChatGPT output:

“This could be helpful for preventing scholastic plagiarism, undoubtedly, but also, for instance, mass generation of propaganda …”

How Does ChatGPT Watermarking Work?

ChatGPT watermarking is a system that embeds a statistical pattern, a code, into the options of words and even punctuation marks.

Material created by expert system is produced with a fairly predictable pattern of word option.

The words written by human beings and AI follow a statistical pattern.

Changing the pattern of the words used in generated material is a way to “watermark” the text to make it simple for a system to identify if it was the product of an AI text generator.

The trick that makes AI content watermarking undetectable is that the distribution of words still have a random look comparable to normal AI generated text.

This is referred to as a pseudorandom distribution of words.

Pseudorandomness is a statistically random series of words or numbers that are not in fact random.

ChatGPT watermarking is not currently in use. However Scott Aaronson at OpenAI is on record mentioning that it is planned.

Right now ChatGPT remains in sneak peeks, which allows OpenAI to discover “misalignment” through real-world usage.

Most likely watermarking may be presented in a last variation of ChatGPT or faster than that.

Scott Aaronson wrote about how watermarking works:

“My main project so far has actually been a tool for statistically watermarking the outputs of a text design like GPT.

Basically, whenever GPT produces some long text, we desire there to be an otherwise undetectable secret signal in its options of words, which you can utilize to prove later on that, yes, this came from GPT.”

Aaronson discussed even more how ChatGPT watermarking works. But initially, it is necessary to understand the idea of tokenization.

Tokenization is an action that takes place in natural language processing where the device takes the words in a file and breaks them down into semantic units like words and sentences.

Tokenization changes text into a structured form that can be used in artificial intelligence.

The process of text generation is the maker guessing which token comes next based upon the previous token.

This is finished with a mathematical function that identifies the possibility of what the next token will be, what’s called a probability circulation.

What word is next is predicted but it’s random.

The watermarking itself is what Aaron refers to as pseudorandom, in that there’s a mathematical factor for a specific word or punctuation mark to be there but it is still statistically random.

Here is the technical description of GPT watermarking:

“For GPT, every input and output is a string of tokens, which might be words however also punctuation marks, parts of words, or more– there have to do with 100,000 tokens in total.

At its core, GPT is continuously generating a probability distribution over the next token to generate, conditional on the string of previous tokens.

After the neural net creates the distribution, the OpenAI server then actually samples a token according to that distribution– or some customized version of the circulation, depending on a criterion called ‘temperature.’

As long as the temperature is nonzero, however, there will normally be some randomness in the choice of the next token: you could run over and over with the exact same prompt, and get a different conclusion (i.e., string of output tokens) each time.

So then to watermark, instead of choosing the next token arbitrarily, the concept will be to pick it pseudorandomly, using a cryptographic pseudorandom function, whose key is known just to OpenAI.”

The watermark looks completely natural to those checking out the text since the choice of words is mimicking the randomness of all the other words.

However that randomness consists of a predisposition that can just be identified by someone with the key to decipher it.

This is the technical explanation:

“To show, in the special case that GPT had a bunch of possible tokens that it judged similarly probable, you could merely choose whichever token optimized g. The choice would look evenly random to somebody who didn’t understand the key, but someone who did know the key could later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously large.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Service

I have actually seen discussions on social networks where some individuals suggested that OpenAI might keep a record of every output it produces and utilize that for detection.

Scott Aaronson verifies that OpenAI might do that but that doing so postures a personal privacy concern. The possible exception is for police circumstance, which he didn’t elaborate on.

How to Discover ChatGPT or GPT Watermarking

Something intriguing that seems to not be well known yet is that Scott Aaronson noted that there is a method to beat the watermarking.

He didn’t state it’s possible to defeat the watermarking, he stated that it can be defeated.

“Now, this can all be defeated with sufficient effort.

For example, if you used another AI to paraphrase GPT’s output– well fine, we’re not going to have the ability to identify that.”

It appears like the watermarking can be beat, a minimum of in from November when the above declarations were made.

There is no indicator that the watermarking is presently in use. However when it does come into usage, it might be unknown if this loophole was closed.


Read Scott Aaronson’s post here.

Featured image by SMM Panel/RealPeopleStudio