Since the release of OpenAI's ChatGPT in November of 2022, hundreds of millions of users have used it to generate billions of tokens per day.
ChatGPT, like other large language models (LLMs), has a distinctive style, and in the initial months of its release would frequently use the phrase "as a large language model" as a precursor to its responses.
Since then, this tic appears to have been reduced, but led us to wonder: what other phrases are strongly associated with ChatGPT's style, but not with the writing of humans? Beyond these statistics, what does this tell us about its training?
Our approach was to take question-answer (QA) data with responses by both humans and by ChatGPT. We then determine the phrases that frequently occur in ChatGPT responses but infrequently occurr in human responses. While this can be done by manually inspecting outputs and making observations, we instead form all possible subsequences of words in the texts (up to length 5) and count the frequency of each.
To perform an empirical analysis of ChatGPT's favorite phrases, we used the HC3 dataset. This dataset contains ~24K examples of human and AI-generated responses to prompts from Reddit, WikiQA, StackExchange, and other sources of question-answer pairs.
We note that this is just one snapshot of responses, and while we may expect the human styles and phrasings to hold steady (at least over the course of a few years), LLMs such as ChatGPT are evolving and changing by the week; the datasets described may need to be updated.
After some simple preprocessing of the data, we computed the 5-grams in each split (human, AI) in the dataset. This resulted in 6,036,620 human n-grams and 3,631,482 ChatGPT n-grams: the first difference we observe is that human-generated text remains more diverse than AI-generated text.
We would expect certain n-grams
to appear frequently in both splits
at the end of the,
in whole or in part)
but others to appear much more frequently in human-generated text and others
to appear much more frequently in AI-generated text.
More precisely perhaps, we would not expect LLMs to generate specific sequences
of text due to the methods in which they've been trained and finetuned with
Based on the analysis above, here are the top 20 phrases most indicative of human-generated text:
|Phrase||Log Probability Delta|
|the end of the trading||-2.3243|
|put a lot of strain||-2.0574|
|what you want to achieve||-2.0332|
|to give you a basic||-2.0118|
|for the most part its||-2.0069|
|a bit of a mystery||-1.9875|
|i am not a medical||-1.9823|
|is a matter of personal||-1.9750|
|a few of the many||-1.9646|
|i hope that helps let||-1.9407|
|it is up to each||-1.9109|
|the money in the account||-1.9042|
|if you are a nonresident||-1.8966|
|the ratio of the circumference||-1.8936|
|to do this is by||-1.8752|
|are some of the main||-1.8651|
|to the united states constitution||-1.8348|
|the tip of the [redacted]||-1.8265|
|come up with a plan||-1.7752|
|as a matter of law||-1.7748|
|the best of my ability||-1.7566|
|the length of the side||-1.7447|
|the energy that is released||-1.7409|
|the result of a combination||-1.7016|
|there is also the risk||-1.6976|
Here are the top 20 phrases most likely to appear in ChatGPT-generated text and not in human-generated text:
|Phrase||Log Probability Delta|
|<s> there are a couple||2.9191|
|its also important to think||2.3774|
|is always a good thing||2.1334|
|it is also important that||2.0646|
|it is important to know||2.0253|
|can vary depending on what||2.0024|
|i hope this helps </s>||1.9463|
|you may want to check||1.9204|
|<s> another reason is because||1.9133|
|i hope that helps </s>||1.8907|
|best course of action is||1.8803|
|it is generally considered impolite||1.8401|
|it is important to study||1.8371|
|to keep in mind is||1.8360|
|i hope this helps you||1.8343|
|a good idea to go||1.8296|
|<s> there are a lot||1.8218|
|by a variety of methods||1.8128|
|<s> there are many theories||1.8114|
|to keep in mind the||1.8098|
|one way to think of||1.8061|
|it can be difficult if||1.7998|
|a good idea to put||1.7873|
|be able to determine that||1.7555|
|is important to remember however||1.7528|
</s> are special tokens indicating the start and end of
a text. The number following each n-gram is the difference in log-probability
between that text appearing in human vs. ChatGPT-generated text.
There are clear patterns in the phrases associated with ChatGPT:
- Emphasizing important points (
it is important...,
is always a good thing, ...)
- Expressing uncertainty (
can vary depending,
you may want to check, ...)
- Presenting multiple options and viewpoints (
its also important to...,
it is important to remember..., ...) Many of these patterns are likely a result of the human examples and preferences that ChatGPT has been tuned on.
It's more difficult to immediately identify patterns in the human n-grams.
Perhaps a slightly lower degree of formality (
to give you a basic,
for the most part its)
and also topics such as medical and financial advice where LLMs can
be more strict and formulaic given the gravity of the topic.
The phrases we've identified demonstrate patterns in ChatGPT's responses that are a reflection of the data that was used to train it. But how strong a signal are they of whether a text was AI-generated or not?
AI-generated content is proliferating, and it can be helpful to have surefire "signatures"
as a large language model) that a text was produced by an LLM. But this is only effective in cases where
the user was sloppy and left these telltale signs in the generated text.
Many of tried to create watermarks that indicate whether an image is AI-generated. These properties can also be put in an image's metadata to indicate its provenance. However, the same is much harder to bake into easily editable text. Some researchers have proposed probabilistic watermarks based on partitioning vocabularies; however, these require the participation of all major LLM developers.