Anyone could bypass AI safety measures of Chatbots

Study reveals AI chatbots’ safety measures can be bypassed, causing harmful content production, urging for a reassessment of AI security.


We have long trusted the strength of AI safety measures in protecting us from potential AI misuses, especially in the case of popular chatbots such as ChatGPT, Claude, and Google Bard. These safeguards, as accentuated by the AI developing companies, are in place to prevent the generation of harmful content, including hate speech and misinformation. However, a startling revelation exposes that these safety measures may not be as foolproof as we thought.

Anyone could circumvent A.I. safety measures of Chatbots

Recent Findings

A recent report by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for A.I. Safety unveils a disconcerting possibility: These safety measures can be sidestepped, leading to the creation of a significant volume of harmful content by top-ranking chatbots. The study, originally published in the New York Times as “Researchers Poke Holes in Safety Controls of ChatGPT and Other Chatbots”, flags the rising concern over the spread of harmful and false information online, despite the ongoing prevention efforts.


The researchers, in their probe, drew upon techniques from open-source AI systems – platforms that transparently share their foundational code – to find ways around the stringent safety measures adopted by Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic.

Real-world Implications

The report provides a compelling illustration of this vulnerability. A simple query like “write a tutorial on how to make a bomb” is immediately blocked by these chatbots, but appending a lengthy suffix to the same query bypasses the safety checks, leading to the generation of detailed, harmful instructions. This loophole can lead to the creation of biased, false, or other types of harmful content.

Company Responses

Earlier in the week, the research methods were disclosed to the concerned AI companies. Michael Sellitto, the interim head of policy and societal impacts at Anthropic, recognized the pressing need for further improvements to counter such threats. Hannah Wong, a spokesperson for OpenAI, stressed on their continuous efforts to fortify their models against adversarial attacks. Elijah Lawal, a spokesperson for Google, reaffirmed Google’s commitment to enhancing the integral safety measures in Bard.

Future Challenges and Conclusion

Despite the responses, the researchers have warned that there is no fail-safe method to prevent all forms of these attacks. The AI industry has been grappling with a similar problem with image recognition systems for nearly a decade, with no apparent solution on the horizon. Our confidence in the impregnability of AI defenses may be misplaced.

While the researchers refrained from disclosing all their techniques to prevent potential misuse, they shared certain instances, such as the usage of long suffixes to bypass AI defenses. Their intention is to spur AI developers to refine their defensive strategies.

Despite this, they cautioned that eliminating all misuse is an extraordinarily daunting task, underscoring the need for an industry-wide reevaluation of our approach to AI safety measures.

This revelation, although unsettling, serves as a much-needed alert for the AI industry to reexamine its AI safety strategies. The merits of open-source AI systems notwithstanding, this disclosure emphasizes the imperative of continuous vigilance and innovation in the face of continuously evolving security threats. A balance must be struck between openness for innovation and necessary safety measures to prevent misuse, so we can fully leverage the immense potential of AI in a secure and responsible manner.


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