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DNA-GPT: Divergent N-Gram Analysis for Training-Free Detection of GPT-Generated Text

Large language models (LLMs) have notably enhanced the fluency and diversity of machine-generated text. However, this progress also presents a significant challenge in detecting the origin of a given text, and current research on detection methods lags behind the rapid evolution of LLMs. Conventional training-based methods have limitations in flexibility, particularly when adapting to new domains, and they often lack explanatory power. To address this gap, we propose a novel training-free detection strategy called Divergent N-Gram Analysis (DNA-GPT). Given a text, we first truncate it in the middle and then use only the preceding portion as input to the LLMs to regenerate the new remaining parts. By analyzing the differences between the original and new remaining parts through N-gram analysis in black-box or probability divergence in white-box, we can clearly illustrate significant discrepancies between machine-generated and human-written text. We conducted extensive experiments on the most advanced LLMs from OpenAI, including text-davinci-003, GPT-3.5-turbo, and GPT-4, as well as open-source models such as GPT-NeoX-20B and LLaMa-13B. Results show that our zero-shot approach exhibits state-of-the-art performance in distinguishing between human and GPT-generated text on four English and one German dataset, outperforming OpenAI’s own classifier, which is trained on millions of text. Additionally, our methods provide reasonable explanations and evidence to support our claim, which is a unique feature of explainable detection. Our method is also robust under the revised text attack and can additionally solve model sourcing.