How The ChatGPT Watermark Works And Why It Could Be Defeated

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OpenAI’s ChatGPT presented a way to immediately create content however prepares to present a watermarking feature to make it simple to find are making some people nervous. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there might be a method to defeat it.

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

Some online marketers like it since they’re discovering brand-new ways to utilize it to generate material briefs, details and complicated short articles.

Online publishers are afraid of the prospect of AI material flooding the search results page, supplanting professional posts written by human beings.

Consequently, news of a watermarking feature that opens detection of ChatGPT-authored material is also anticipated with stress and 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 mostly seen in photos and progressively in videos.

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

Scott Aaronson and ChatGPT Watermarking

A prominent computer scientist named Scott Aaronson was worked with by OpenAI in June 2022 to deal with AI Security and Alignment.

AI Security is a research study field interested in studying ways that AI might pose a harm to human beings and creating ways to avoid that sort of negative interruption.

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

“The objective of long-lasting expert system (AI) safety is to guarantee that innovative 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 interested in making sure that the AI is lined up with the designated goals.

A large language design (LLM) like ChatGPT can be utilized in a manner that might go contrary to the objectives of AI Alignment as specified by OpenAI, which is to create AI that benefits humanity.

Appropriately, the factor for watermarking is to avoid the abuse of AI in such a way that hurts humankind.

Aaronson explained the reason for watermarking ChatGPT output:

“This could be valuable for avoiding scholastic plagiarism, clearly, however likewise, for example, mass generation of propaganda …”

How Does ChatGPT Watermarking Work?

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

Content produced by expert system is produced with a fairly foreseeable pattern of word choice.

The words written by humans and AI follow a statistical pattern.

Changing the pattern of the words used in generated material is a method to “watermark” the text to make it easy for a system to spot if it was the item of an AI text generator.

The technique that makes AI material watermarking undetected is that the distribution of words still have a random appearance comparable to normal AI generated text.

This is described as a pseudorandom distribution of words.

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

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

Right now ChatGPT is in previews, which permits OpenAI to find “misalignment” through real-world usage.

Most likely watermarking may be introduced in a final variation of ChatGPT or earlier than that.

Scott Aaronson blogged about how watermarking works:

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

Basically, whenever GPT creates some long text, we want there to be an otherwise unnoticeable secret signal in its choices of words, which you can use to prove later that, yes, this originated from GPT.”

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

Tokenization is an action 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 form that can be used in machine learning.

The process of text generation is the maker 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 circulation.

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

The watermarking itself is what Aaron describes as pseudorandom, because there’s a mathematical reason 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 however likewise punctuation marks, parts of words, or more– there are about 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 produces the distribution, the OpenAI server then really samples a token according to that circulation– or some modified variation of the circulation, depending upon a parameter called ‘temperature.’

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

So then to watermark, rather of choosing the next token arbitrarily, the idea will be to select it pseudorandomly, utilizing a cryptographic pseudorandom function, whose secret is known only to OpenAI.”

The watermark looks totally natural to those checking out the text because the option of words is simulating the randomness of all the other words.

But that randomness includes a bias that can only be discovered by somebody with the secret to translate it.

This is the technical description:

“To illustrate, in the diplomatic immunity that GPT had a lot of possible tokens that it evaluated similarly likely, you might merely select whichever token taken full advantage of g. The choice would look consistently random to somebody who didn’t understand the key, however somebody who did understand the secret might later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously large.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Option

I’ve seen discussions on social media where some people suggested that OpenAI might keep a record of every output it generates and use that for detection.

Scott Aaronson confirms that OpenAI could do that but that doing so postures a personal privacy issue. The possible exception is for law enforcement scenario, 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 kept in mind that there is a method to defeat the watermarking.

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

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

For instance, if you used another AI to paraphrase GPT’s output– well alright, we’re not going to be able to discover that.”

It looks like the watermarking can be beat, at least 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