Why detecting AI-generated text is so difficult (and what to do about it)

This software is OpenAI’s response to the warmth it’s gotten from educators, journalists, and others for launching ChatGPT with none methods to detect textual content it has generated. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless very a lot a piece in progress, and it’s woefully unreliable. OpenAI says its AI textual content detector accurately identifies 26% of AI-written textual content as “seemingly AI-written.” 

Whereas OpenAI clearly has much more work to do to refine its software, there’s a restrict to only how good it could possibly make it. We’re extraordinarily unlikely to ever get a software that may spot AI-generated textual content with 100% certainty. It’s actually arduous to detect AI-generated textual content as a result of the entire level of AI language fashions is to generate fluent and human-seeming textual content, and the mannequin is mimicking textual content created by people, says Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, a professor who oversees analysis in natural-language processing and machine studying on the College of British Columbia

We’re in an arms race to construct detection strategies that may match the newest, strongest fashions, Abdul-Mageed provides. New AI language fashions are extra highly effective and higher at producing much more fluent language, which rapidly makes our present detection software package outdated. 

OpenAI constructed its detector by creating an entire new AI language mannequin akin to ChatGPT that’s particularly skilled to detect outputs from fashions like itself. Though particulars are sparse, the corporate apparently skilled the mannequin with examples of AI-generated textual content and examples of human-generated textual content, after which requested it to identify the AI-generated textual content. We requested for extra info, however OpenAI didn’t reply. 

Final month, I wrote about one other methodology for detecting textual content generated by an AI: watermarks. These act as a kind of secret sign in AI-produced textual content that enables laptop applications to detect it as such. 

Researchers on the College of Maryland have developed a neat method of making use of watermarks to textual content generated by AI language fashions, and so they have made it freely out there. These watermarks would enable us to inform with nearly full certainty when AI-generated textual content has been used. 

The difficulty is that this methodology requires AI firms to embed watermarking of their chatbots proper from the beginning. OpenAI is growing these methods however has but to roll them out in any of its merchandise. Why the delay? One purpose could be that it’s not at all times fascinating to have AI-generated textual content watermarked. 

One of many most promising methods ChatGPT could possibly be built-in into merchandise is as a software to assist individuals write emails or as an enhanced spell-checker in a phrase processor. That’s not precisely dishonest. However watermarking all AI-generated textual content would robotically flag these outputs and will result in wrongful accusations.

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