Kalpesh Krishna

Paraphrasing evades detectors of AI-generated text, but retrieval is an effective defense

High school students can easily cheat in their essays, and this is what big tech should be doing about it.

To detect the deployment of large language models for malicious use cases (e.g., fake content creation or academic plagiarism), several approaches have recently been proposed for identifying AI-generated text via watermarks or statistical irregularities. How robust are these detection algorithms to paraphrases of AI-generated text? To stress test these detectors, we first train an 11B parameter paraphrase generation model (DIPPER) that can paraphrase paragraphs, optionally leveraging surrounding text (e.g., user-written prompts) as context. DIPPER also uses scalar knobs to control the amount of lexical diversity and reordering in the paraphrases. Paraphrasing text generated by three large language models (including GPT3.5-davinci-003) with DIPPER successfully evades several detectors, including watermarking, GPTZero, DetectGPT, and OpenAI’s text classifier. For example, DIPPER drops the detection accuracy of DetectGPT from 70.3% to 4.6% (at a constant false positive rate of 1%), without appreciably modifying the input semantics. To increase the robustness of AI-generated text detection to paraphrase attacks, we introduce a simple defense that relies on retrieving semantically-similar generations and must be maintained by a language model API provider. Given a candidate text, our algorithm searches a database of sequences previously generated by the API, looking for sequences that match the candidate text within a certain threshold. We empirically verify our defense using a database of 15M generations from a fine-tuned T5-XXL model and find that it can detect 80% to 97% of paraphrased generations across different settings, while only classifying 1% of human-written sequences as AI-generated. Finally I will conclude with some limitations of our retriever, and share some future directions I’m most excited about.

Kalpesh Krishna is a Research Scientist at Google, working in the Bard team. He recently received his PhD from UMass Amherst, where he was advised by Prof. Mohit Iyyer and supported by a Google PhD Fellowship. Before joining UMass, he was an undergraduate student at IIT Bombay advised by Prof. Preethi Jyothi.