How The ChatGPT Watermark Functions And Why It Could Be Defeated

Posted by

OpenAI’s ChatGPT introduced a way to instantly develop content but plans to present a watermarking function to make it easy to discover are making some individuals nervous. This is how ChatGPT watermarking works and why there might be a method to defeat it.

ChatGPT is an unbelievable tool that online publishers, affiliates and SEOs all at once enjoy and dread.

Some marketers like it because they’re discovering new methods to utilize it to produce material briefs, lays out and intricate articles.

Online publishers are afraid of the prospect of AI material flooding the search results, supplanting professional short articles written by people.

Subsequently, news of a watermarking function that unlocks detection of ChatGPT-authored material is likewise prepared for with stress and 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 original author of the work.

It’s mostly seen in photos and increasingly in videos.

Watermarking text in ChatGPT includes 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 called Scott Aaronson was worked with by OpenAI in June 2022 to deal with AI Safety and Positioning.

AI Security is a research field concerned with studying manner ins which AI might posture a harm to human beings and creating ways to avoid that sort of negative disturbance.

The Distill clinical journal, including authors associated with OpenAI, defines AI Safety like this:

“The objective of long-term artificial intelligence (AI) security is to guarantee that innovative AI systems are dependably aligned with human worths– that they dependably do things that individuals want them to do.”

AI Positioning is the artificial intelligence field worried about making certain that the AI is aligned with the desired goals.

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

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

Aaronson explained the reason for watermarking ChatGPT output:

“This could be valuable for preventing scholastic plagiarism, obviously, but likewise, 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 developed by expert system is generated with a relatively predictable pattern of word choice.

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

Altering the pattern of the words utilized in produced content is a method to “watermark” the text to make it easy for a system to discover if it was the item of an AI text generator.

The trick that makes AI material watermarking undetected is that the circulation of words still have a random look comparable to typical 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 actually random.

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

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

Probably watermarking might be introduced in a final version of ChatGPT or faster 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.

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

Aaronson explained further how ChatGPT watermarking works. But first, it’s important to understand the concept of tokenization.

Tokenization is an action that happens in natural language processing where the machine takes the words in a document and breaks them down into semantic systems 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 maker thinking which token follows based on the previous token.

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

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

The watermarking itself is what Aaron refers to as pseudorandom, in that there’s a mathematical reason 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 could 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 probability circulation over the next token to generate, conditional on the string of previous tokens.

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

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

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

The watermark looks completely natural to those reading the text because the choice of words is mimicking the randomness of all the other words.

But that randomness consists of a predisposition that can only be found by someone with the secret to decipher it.

This is the technical description:

“To highlight, in the diplomatic immunity that GPT had a lot of possible tokens that it judged similarly likely, you might just pick whichever token maximized g. The option would look evenly random to somebody who didn’t know the secret, however somebody who did understand the key could later sum g over all n-grams and see that it was anomalously big.”

Watermarking is a Privacy-first Service

I’ve seen conversations on social networks where some people suggested that OpenAI could keep a record of every output it produces and use that for detection.

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

How to Identify ChatGPT or GPT Watermarking

Something fascinating that appears to not be well known yet is that Scott Aaronson kept in mind that there is a method to beat 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 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 find that.”

It seems 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 currently in use. But when it does enter use, it might be unknown if this loophole was closed.


Check out Scott Aaronson’s blog post here.

Included image by Best SMM Panel/RealPeopleStudio