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A Watermark for Large Language Models

2023-01-24 18:52:59
John Kirchenbauer, Jonas Geiping, Yuxin Wen, Jonathan Katz, Ian Miers, Tom Goldstein

Abstract

Potential harms of large language models can be mitigated by watermarking model output, i.e., embedding signals into generated text that are invisible to humans but algorithmically detectable from a short span of tokens. We propose a watermarking framework for proprietary language models. The watermark can be embedded with negligible impact on text quality, and can be detected using an efficient open-source algorithm without access to the language model API or parameters. The watermark works by selecting a randomized set of whitelist tokens before a word is generated, and then softly promoting use of whitelist tokens during sampling. We propose a statistical test for detecting the watermark with interpretable p-values, and derive an information-theoretic framework for analyzing the sensitivity of the watermark. We test the watermark using a multi-billion parameter model from the Open Pretrained Transformer (OPT) family, and discuss robustness and security.

Abstract (translated)

URL

https://arxiv.org/abs/2301.10226

PDF

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2301.10226


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