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To Watermark AI, It Needs Its Own Alphabet

It's getting harder to distinguish between AI- and human-generated content

Only a few months ago, AI content was easy to spot: unnatural inflections in speech, weird earlobes in photos, bland language in writing. This is no longer the case. In June, scammers used an AI to impersonate a daughter's voice and rob her mother. Candidates are already using deepfakes as propaganda. And LLMs may help spammers by automating the otherwise costly back-and-forth conversations needed to separate a mark from their money. We need a way to distinguish things made by humans from things made by algorithms, and we need it very soon.

A universal way to tell human-generated content from AI-generated content would mitigate many of the concerns people have about this burgeoning technology. Consumers of generative text could "reveal AI" to quickly see what was written by a machine. Software companies could add AI markup awareness to their products, changing the way we find, replace, copy, paste and share content. Governments could agree to buy generative AI only from companies that mark their output in this way, creating considerable market incentives. Teachers could insist that students leave the markings intact to leverage the power of generative AI while still showing their original thought. And brands that want to be "AI transparent" could promise not to remove the marker, making non-GPT the new non-GMO.

Fortunately, we have a solution waiting in plain sight. But to understand the elegance of this relatively simple hack, let’s first look at the alternatives and why they won’t work.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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