How The ChatGPT Watermark Functions And Why It Could Be Defeated

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OpenAI’s ChatGPT introduced a method to automatically produce content however plans to present a watermarking function to make it simple to discover are making some people worried. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there might be a way to beat it.

ChatGPT is an amazing tool that online publishers, affiliates and SEOs at the same time like and dread.

Some online marketers like it due to the fact that they’re finding new methods to use it to generate content briefs, lays out and complex posts.

Online publishers are afraid of the possibility of AI material flooding the search engine result, supplanting professional posts composed by humans.

Consequently, news of a watermarking function that opens detection of ChatGPT-authored content is likewise expected with stress and anxiety and hope.

Cryptographic Watermark

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

It’s largely seen in photos and significantly in videos.

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

Scott Aaronson and ChatGPT Watermarking

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

AI Safety is a research field concerned with studying ways that AI may present a damage to people and developing ways to prevent that type of unfavorable interruption.

The Distill scientific journal, featuring authors associated with OpenAI, defines AI Safety like this:

“The objective of long-lasting expert system (AI) security is to guarantee that innovative AI systems are dependably aligned with human worths– that they dependably do things that individuals desire them to do.”

AI Positioning is the artificial intelligence field worried about making sure that the AI is aligned with the intended objectives.

A big language model (LLM) like ChatGPT can be used in a manner that may go contrary to the goals of AI Positioning as specified by OpenAI, which is to develop AI that advantages mankind.

Accordingly, the factor for watermarking is to prevent the misuse of AI in such a way that hurts mankind.

Aaronson described the factor for watermarking ChatGPT output:

“This could be useful for preventing academic plagiarism, undoubtedly, however 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 choices 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 created material is a way to “watermark” the text to make it easy for a system to detect if it was the item of an AI text generator.

The trick that makes AI material watermarking undetected is that the distribution of words still have a random appearance comparable to typical AI generated 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 currently in usage. Nevertheless Scott Aaronson at OpenAI is on record mentioning that it is prepared.

Today ChatGPT is in previews, which enables OpenAI to discover “misalignment” through real-world use.

Most likely watermarking may be introduced in a last version of ChatGPT or earlier than that.

Scott Aaronson blogged about how watermarking works:

“My primary job up until now has actually been a tool for statistically watermarking the outputs of a text design like GPT.

Basically, whenever GPT generates some long text, we want 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 described further how ChatGPT watermarking works. However initially, it’s important to comprehend the principle of tokenization.

Tokenization is a step that happens in natural language processing where the machine takes the words in a file and breaks them down into semantic units like words and sentences.

Tokenization modifications text into a structured form that can be used in machine learning.

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

This is done with a mathematical function that determines the likelihood of what the next token will be, what’s called a possibility circulation.

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

The watermarking itself is what Aaron describes 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 but likewise punctuation marks, parts of words, or more– there are about 100,000 tokens in overall.

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

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

As long as the temperature is nonzero, though, there will generally 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 selecting the next token arbitrarily, the concept will be to pick it pseudorandomly, utilizing a cryptographic pseudorandom function, whose key is known only to OpenAI.”

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

But that randomness includes a bias that can just be discovered by someone with the key to decode it.

This is the technical description:

“To highlight, in the special case that GPT had a bunch of possible tokens that it judged equally likely, you could simply select whichever token made the most of g. The option would look evenly random to somebody who didn’t know the secret, however someone who did understand the key might later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously large.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Solution

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

Scott Aaronson validates that OpenAI might do that but that doing so poses a privacy problem. The possible exception is for law enforcement circumstance, which he didn’t elaborate on.

How to Identify ChatGPT or GPT Watermarking

Something interesting that seems to not be well known yet is that Scott Aaronson kept in mind that there is a way to beat the watermarking.

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

“Now, this can all be beat with enough effort.

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

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

There is no sign that the watermarking is presently in usage. However when it does enter into use, it may be unidentified if this loophole was closed.


Read Scott Aaronson’s article here.

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/RealPeopleStudio