Simon Willison’s Weblog


Saturday, 4th November 2023

YouTube: OpenAssistant is Completed—by Yannic Kilcher (via) The OpenAssistant project was an attempt to crowdsource the creation of an alternative to ChatGPT, using human volunteers to build a Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) dataset suitable for training this kind of model.

The project started in January. In this video from 24th October project founder Yannic Kilcher announces that the project is now shutting down.

They’ve declared victory in that the dataset they collected has been used by other teams as part of their training efforts, but admit that the overhead of running the infrastructure and moderation teams necessary for their project is more than they can continue to justify. # 10:14 pm

Hacking Google Bard—From Prompt Injection to Data Exfiltration (via) Bard recently grew extension support, allowing it access to a user’s personal documents. Here’s the first reported prompt injection attack against that.

This kind of attack against LLM systems is inevitable any time you combine access to private data with exposure to untrusted inputs. In this case the attack vector is a Google Doc shared with the user, containing prompt injection instructions that instruct the model to encode previous data into an URL and exfiltrate it via a markdown image.

Google’s CSP headers restrict those images to *—but it turns out you can use Google AppScript to run your own custom data exfiltration endpoint on

Google claim to have fixed the reported issue—I’d be interested to learn more about how that mitigation works, and how robust it is against variations of this attack. # 4:46 pm

2023 » November