How The ChatGPT Watermark Works And Why It Might Be Defeated

Posted by

OpenAI’s ChatGPT introduced a method to instantly develop material however prepares to introduce a watermarking feature to make it simple to find are making some people nervous. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there may be a method to defeat it.

ChatGPT is an amazing tool that online publishers, affiliates and SEOs simultaneously like and dread.

Some online marketers enjoy it due to the fact that they’re finding new ways to utilize it to produce material briefs, details and complex articles.

Online publishers are afraid of the prospect of AI material flooding the search engine result, supplanting expert articles composed by people.

As a result, news of a watermarking function that unlocks detection of ChatGPT-authored content is likewise anticipated with anxiety and hope.

Cryptographic Watermark

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

It’s largely seen in photographs and increasingly in videos.

Watermarking text in ChatGPT includes 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

A prominent computer researcher called Scott Aaronson was hired by OpenAI in June 2022 to work on AI Safety and Alignment.

AI Safety is a research study field worried about studying manner ins which AI might present a damage to people and creating methods to prevent that kind of unfavorable disturbance.

The Distill clinical journal, including authors affiliated with OpenAI, defines AI Security like this:

“The goal of long-term expert system (AI) security is to ensure that advanced AI systems are reliably lined up with human values– that they reliably do things that individuals want them to do.”

AI Positioning is the artificial intelligence field concerned with ensuring that the AI is lined up with the designated objectives.

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

Accordingly, the reason for watermarking is to prevent the abuse of AI in such a way that harms humankind.

Aaronson explained the reason for watermarking ChatGPT output:

“This could be useful for avoiding academic plagiarism, undoubtedly, however likewise, for example, 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.

Content produced by expert system is created with a relatively foreseeable pattern of word option.

The words written by human beings and AI follow an analytical pattern.

Changing the pattern of the words utilized in generated content 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 technique that makes AI material watermarking undetectable is that the distribution of words still have a random appearance similar to regular AI produced text.

This is described as a pseudorandom circulation of words.

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

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

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

Most likely watermarking may be presented in a final version of ChatGPT or earlier than that.

Scott Aaronson wrote about how watermarking works:

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

Essentially, whenever GPT generates some long text, we want there to be an otherwise undetectable secret signal in its options of words, which you can use to show later that, yes, this originated from GPT.”

Aaronson described further how ChatGPT watermarking works. However initially, it is necessary to understand the concept of tokenization.

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

Tokenization modifications text into a structured type that can be utilized in machine learning.

The process of text generation is the device guessing which token comes next based on the previous token.

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

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

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

Here is the technical explanation 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 are about 100,000 tokens in total.

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

After the neural net generates the distribution, the OpenAI server then really samples a token according to that distribution– or some customized variation of the circulation, depending upon a criterion called ‘temperature.’

As long as the temperature is nonzero, though, there will normally be some randomness in the choice of the next token: you could run over and over with the exact 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 select it pseudorandomly, using a cryptographic pseudorandom function, whose key is understood just to OpenAI.”

The watermark looks completely natural to those reading the text due to the fact that the option of words is mimicking the randomness of all the other words.

However that randomness includes a bias that can just be detected by somebody with the key to decode it.

This is the technical description:

“To show, in the special case that GPT had a lot of possible tokens that it evaluated equally likely, you could merely choose whichever token optimized g. The choice would look consistently random to somebody who didn’t understand the secret, however somebody who did understand the secret could later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously large.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Option

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

Scott Aaronson verifies that OpenAI could do that but that doing so positions a privacy concern. The possible exception is for law enforcement scenario, which he didn’t elaborate on.

How to Identify ChatGPT or GPT Watermarking

Something interesting that appears to not be popular yet is that Scott Aaronson kept in mind that there is a way to defeat the watermarking.

He didn’t say 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 utilized another AI to paraphrase GPT’s output– well all right, we’re not going to be able to identify that.”

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

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


Read Scott Aaronson’s blog post here.

Included image by Best SMM Panel/RealPeopleStudio