How OpenAI ChatGPT Watermark Works to Detect AI Content?

Usman Ali

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A method for creating content was introduced by OpenAI ChatGPT, but some people are concerned about plans to add a watermarking feature to make it easier to detect. This is how ChatGPT watermarking functions and the reason why it might be circumvented.

Online publishers, affiliates, and SEO all adore and fear ChatGPT as an amazing tool. Some marketers adore it because they are finding new uses for it, like creating intricate articles, outlines, and content briefs.

Internet publishers are concerned that a deluge of AI generated content may replace human written expert articles in search results. News of a watermarking feature that makes it possible to identify content authored by ChatGPT is therefore eagerly awaited.

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Cryptographic Watermarking

Cryptographic Watermarking

A semi-transparent mark, such as a logo or text, embedded within an image is called a water mark. The original author of the work is identified by the water mark. It appears in images and in videos.

In GPT, watermarking text entails using cryptography to embed a secret code made up of words, letters, and punctuation.

ChatGPT Watermark

ChatGPT Watermark

In June 2022, OpenAI hired renowned computer scientist Scott Aaronson to work on AI Safety and Alignment. Research on AI safety looks at potential risks that AI could pose to people and develops countermeasures to avoid that kind of unfavorable interference.

Long term AI safety aims to guarantee that sophisticated AI systems consistently uphold human values and carry out user inputted commands. The field of artificial intelligence that deals with ensuring that AI is in line with the intended objectives is known as AI alignment.

It is possible to use a large language model (LLM) like ChatGPT in a way that is in opposition to OpenAI definition of AI Alignment, which is to develop AI that advances humankind. Watermarking is used to stop AI from being misused in a way that is harmful to people.

How Does Watermarking in ChatGPT Work?

ChatGPT watermarking is a technique that incorporates a code or statistical pattern into word selections and even punctuation. Artificial intelligence produces content using a word choice pattern that is predictable.

Both AI and human writers adhere to a statistical pattern when crafting words. One technique to watermarking text and make it easier for a system to figure out if it came from an AI text generator is to alter the word patterns in the content.

The trick to making AI content watermarking undetectable is to maintain the random appearance of the word distribution, just like in naturally occurring AI generated text. This kind of word distribution is known as pseudorandom distribution.

A statistically random sequence of words or numbers that is not truly random is called pseudorandomness. Watermarking with ChatGPT is not in use at the moment. On the other hand, Scott Aaronson of OpenAI has stated on record that it is planned.

Currently in preview, GPT enables OpenAI to identify misalignment through practical application. Watermarking might be included in ChatGPT final release or even earlier. Aaronson went on to elaborate on the operation of GPT watermarking.

But first, it is critical to comprehend what tokenization is. The process of tokenization in natural language processing involves the computer breaking down words in a document into semantic units such as sentences and words.

Text is transformed into an organized format for machine learning through tokenization. The machine uses the previous token to predict the next token in the text generation process. This is accomplished using a mathematical function called probability distribution, which calculates the likelihood of the next token.

Technical Explanation of ChatGPT Watermarking

Technical Explanation of ChatGPT Watermarking

Every input and output for ChatGPT is a string of tokens, which can be words, punctuation, and word fragments. In total, there are roughly 100,000 tokens. GPT generates a probability distribution over each subsequent token iteration based on the sequence of preceding tokens.

Following the distribution creation by the neural net, a token is actually sampled by the OpenAI server in accordance with that distribution or a modified version of it, contingent upon a temperature parameter.

The selection of the subsequent token will typically be somewhat random as long as the temperature is not zero. In order to water mark, the next token will be chosen pseudorandomly using a cryptographic pseudorandom function, the key to which is known only to OpenAI, as opposed to choosing it at random.

Because the words chosen mimic the randomness of all the other words, the watermarking appears to readers of the text to be natural. However, there is a bias in that randomness that only a person with the decoding key can identify.

The first step toward privacy is watermarking. It was suggested by some that OpenAI could log each output it produces and use that information for detection. Scott Aaronson affirms that OpenAI is capable of doing that, but there are privacy concerns involved.

He did not go into further detail, but the situation involving law enforcement may be an exception.

How to Get Past the ChatGPT Watermark?

How to Get Past the ChatGPT Watermark?

Although the water mark appears to be an infallible method for identifying content created by AI, there is a workaround. The secret is to paraphrase the text produced by GPT using a different AI tool.

When content is paraphrased, the water mark is broken, giving the impression that the material is not AI generated. Please be aware that although you can theoretically avoid the water mark using this method, there are some ethical issues to consider.

Paraphrasing Method

The content produced by GPT is effectively restructured while the main idea is retained by a secondary AI tool that paraphrases it. This modifies the sequence of tokens and breaks the pseudorandom pattern generated by OpenAI watermarking process.

However, the effectiveness of this workaround primarily relies on how advanced the AI is at paraphrasing. More sophisticated and nuanced models would be suited to modify the content in a significant and pertinent way.

Ethical Considerations

Although it might be possible to get past the GPT water mark, using AI generated content raises some ethical concerns. The goal of OpenAI watermarking project is to support ethical application of AI while maintaining education integrity and regard for human labor.

Even though it is technically feasible, getting around the water mark can be seen as a violation of these guidelines. It is crucial to remember that strict measures may be implemented by OpenAI and organizations worried about the improper use of AI to discourage such behavior.

Since the field of watermarking is always changing, it is possible that new and advanced watermark types will be created to prevent these kinds of workarounds.

Can Search Engines Detect Artificial Intelligence Content?

Can Search Engines Detect Artificial Intelligence Content?

Content produced with AI language models, such as GPT and GPT-2, which are based on Natural Language Generation (NLG), is identifiable by search engines such as Google. The recent GPT-3 model, though, is far more sophisticated.

The GPT-3 model adds emotion to the text and varies sentence length in addition to the GPT and GPT-2 content. This complicates the process of identifying the patterns. But as of right now, Google lacks the technological capability to identify AI content made with GPT-3 models.

More significantly, though, it does not aim to penalize AI generated content for each view.

Google Guidelines for AI Generated Content

Google Guidelines for AI Generated Content

The search engine behemoth emphasized the value of producing user friendly content in Google Search Essentials. Whether or not an AI tool was used to create your content is irrelevant. What matters most is the value you bring to Google users.

Its revised spam policy states that any AI generated content that does not offer the reader enough value qualifies as spam. This comprises:

  • Unintelligible writing that overuses keywords
  • Unreviewed material with little depth
  • Content that is hard to navigate
  • Rephrased text
  • Summaries of online searches that fall short of being truly valuable

Theoretically, avoiding such content can help you rank higher even if you use AI tools to create it. However, you are aware as a content specialist that ranking alone is insufficient. It is equally important to establish trust through authoritative and relevant content.


Although some may find the ChatGPT watermark bothersome, it is a crucial tool for encouraging ethical use of AI, maintaining academic integrity, and honoring the work of content creators. In the constantly changing field of AI, it is a big step toward keeping a balance between ethical concerns and technological advancement.

Having said that, keep in mind that great power also entails great responsibility. As responsible users of these advanced tools, we should make an effort to uphold the values of justice and integrity, always give credit where credit is due, and use these tools responsibly.

Frequently Asked Questions – How OpenAI ChatGPT Watermark Works to Detect AI Content?

What is the purpose of the watermark in OpenAI ChatGPT AI-generated content?

The watermark in OpenAI ChatGPT AI-generated content serves as a unique identifier or signature embedded within the generated text. It helps in detecting the source of the content and ensures authenticity and accountability.

How does the ChatGPT watermark work to detect AI content?

The ChatGPT watermark works by utilizing a cryptographic method to embed an identifier into the AI-generated text. This process involves statistically watermarking the outputs of the AI language model, allowing for the detection of AI-generated content.

Can the ChatGPT watermark be used to detect plagiarism in AI-generated text?

Yes, the ChatGPT watermark can aid in detecting plagiarism in AI-generated text by providing a means to track and verify the original source of the content. This helps in maintaining the integrity of AI-generated materials.

What role does AI play in the generation and embedding of the watermark?

The AI system such as OpenAI ChatGPT is responsible for the generation of the content and the embedding of the watermark. The AI tool strategically incorporates the watermark while generating the text, ensuring that it is seamlessly integrated without compromising the quality of the output.

How does the watermark in ChatGPT differ from traditional digital watermarks?

The watermark in ChatGPT differs in the sense that it is specifically designed for AI-generated text. It focuses on the probabilities and token sequences within the output, employing advanced techniques to embed a unique signature that is robust against modifications or alterations.

Is there a specific cryptographic process used for watermarking the outputs of ChatGPT?

Yes, the watermarking process in ChatGPT involves a cryptographic method that utilizes pseudorandomness and probability distributions to embed the watermark within the generated text. This ensures the resilience and integrity of the watermark against tampering or manipulation.

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