Simon Willison’s Weblog


Monday, 8th January 2024

Text Embeddings Reveal (Almost) As Much As Text. Embeddings of text—where a text string is converted into a fixed-number length array of floating point numbers—are demonstrably reversible: “a multi-step method that iteratively corrects and re-embeds text is able to recover 92% of 32-token text inputs exactly”.

This means that if you’re using a vector database for embeddings of private data you need to treat those embedding vectors with the same level of protection as the original text.

# 5:22 am / privacy, security, ai, embeddings

Does GPT-2 Know Your Phone Number? (via) This report from Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research in December 2020 showed GPT-3 outputting a full page of chapter 3 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone—similar to how the recent suit from the New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft demonstrates memorized news articles from that publication as outputs from GPT-4.

# 5:26 am / microsoft, new-york-times, ai, gpt3, openai, generative-ai, llms

We believe that AI tools are at their best when they incorporate and represent the full diversity and breadth of human intelligence and experience. [...] Because copyright today covers virtually every sort of human expression– including blog posts, photographs, forum posts, scraps of software code, and government documents–it would be impossible to train today’s leading AI models without using copyrighted materials. Limiting training data to public domain books and drawings created more than a century ago might yield an interesting experiment, but would not provide AI systems that meet the needs of today’s citizens.

OpenAI to the Lords Select Committee on LLMs

# 5:33 pm / copyright, politics, ai, openai, generative-ai, llms, training-data

OpenAI and journalism. Bit of a misleading title here: this is OpenAI’s first public response to the lawsuit filed by the New York Times concerning their use of unlicensed NYT content to train their models.

# 6:33 pm / copyright, new-york-times, ai, openai, generative-ai, llms