How The ChatGPT Watermark Functions And Why It Might Be Defeated

Posted by

OpenAI’s ChatGPT introduced a method to automatically create content however prepares to introduce a watermarking feature to make it simple to discover are making some people anxious. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there may be a way to defeat it.

ChatGPT is an unbelievable tool that online publishers, affiliates and SEOs concurrently enjoy and dread.

Some marketers enjoy it since they’re finding brand-new ways to use it to generate content briefs, details and complicated short articles.

Online publishers are afraid of the possibility of AI content flooding the search results page, supplanting specialist articles written by people.

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

Cryptographic Watermark

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

It’s mostly seen in pictures and significantly in videos.

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

Scott Aaronson and ChatGPT Watermarking

An influential computer system scientist named Scott Aaronson was worked with by OpenAI in June 2022 to work on AI Safety and Positioning.

AI Security is a research study field worried about studying manner ins which AI may present a harm to people and producing methods to avoid that type of unfavorable disruption.

The Distill clinical journal, including authors affiliated with OpenAI, specifies AI Safety like this:

“The goal of long-term expert system (AI) security is to make sure that innovative AI systems are reliably aligned with human values– that they reliably do things that individuals desire them to do.”

AI Alignment is the artificial intelligence field worried about making certain that the AI is aligned with the desired objectives.

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

Appropriately, the reason for watermarking is to avoid the abuse of AI in a way that damages humanity.

Aaronson discussed the factor for watermarking ChatGPT output:

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

How Does ChatGPT Watermarking Work?

ChatGPT watermarking is a system that embeds an analytical pattern, a code, into the choices of words and even punctuation marks.

Content developed by expert system is generated with a fairly predictable pattern of word choice.

The words composed by humans and AI follow an analytical pattern.

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

The technique that makes AI material watermarking undetected is that the circulation of words still have a random look similar to normal AI produced text.

This is referred to as a pseudorandom circulation of words.

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

ChatGPT watermarking is not presently in usage. Nevertheless Scott Aaronson at OpenAI is on record stating that it is prepared.

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

Presumably watermarking may be introduced in a final version of ChatGPT or earlier than that.

Scott Aaronson blogged about how watermarking works:

“My primary task so far has been a tool for statistically watermarking the outputs of a text design like GPT.

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

Aaronson described even more how ChatGPT watermarking works. However initially, it’s important to comprehend the principle of tokenization.

Tokenization is a step that occurs in natural language processing where the maker takes the words in a document and breaks them down into semantic systems like words and sentences.

Tokenization changes text into a structured kind that can be used in machine learning.

The procedure of text generation is the maker guessing which token follows based on the previous token.

This is finished with a mathematical function that figures out the likelihood of what the next token will be, what’s called a likelihood circulation.

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

The watermarking itself is what Aaron refers to as pseudorandom, because there’s a mathematical factor for a particular word or punctuation mark to be there however 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 could be words but also punctuation marks, parts of words, or more– there are about 100,000 tokens in overall.

At its core, GPT is constantly producing a likelihood circulation over the next token to create, conditional on the string of previous tokens.

After the neural net produces the distribution, the OpenAI server then really samples a token according to that distribution– or some modified variation of the circulation, depending on a specification called ‘temperature level.’

As long as the temperature level is nonzero, though, there will usually be some randomness in the option of the next token: you might run over and over with the very same timely, and get a different conclusion (i.e., string of output tokens) each time.

So then to watermark, instead of choosing the next token randomly, the idea will be to pick it pseudorandomly, utilizing a cryptographic pseudorandom function, whose key is understood only to OpenAI.”

The watermark looks entirely natural to those checking out the text because the choice of words is imitating the randomness of all the other words.

However that randomness consists of a bias that can just be found by someone with the secret to decipher it.

This is the technical explanation:

“To illustrate, in the diplomatic immunity that GPT had a bunch of possible tokens that it judged similarly probable, you might merely select whichever token optimized g. The option would look evenly random to someone who didn’t understand the key, but somebody who did know the secret could later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously big.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Option

I have actually seen conversations on social media 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 could do that but that doing so presents a personal privacy issue. The possible exception is for police situation, which he didn’t elaborate on.

How to Identify ChatGPT or GPT Watermarking

Something fascinating that appears to not be popular yet is that Scott Aaronson noted that there is a way to beat the watermarking.

He didn’t say it’s possible to beat the watermarking, he said that it can be beat.

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

For instance, if you used another AI to paraphrase GPT’s output– well all right, we’re not going to have the ability to detect that.”

It seems like the watermarking can be beat, at least in from November when the above statements were made.

There is no indication that the watermarking is currently in use. However when it does enter usage, it might be unidentified if this loophole was closed.


Check out Scott Aaronson’s article here.

Included image by Best SMM Panel/RealPeopleStudio