Researchers jailbreak AI chatbots with ASCII art

Researchers based in Washington and Chicago have developed ArtPrompt, a new way to circumvent the safety measures built into large language models (LLMs). According to the research paper ArtPrompt: ASCII Art-based Jailbreak Attacks against Aligned LLMs, chatbots such as GPT-3.5, GPT-4, Gemini, Claude, and Llama2 can be induced to respond to queries they are designed to reject using ASCII art prompts generated by their ArtPrompt tool. It is a simple and effective attack, and the paper provides examples of the ArtPrompt-induced chatbots advising on how to build bombs and make counterfeit money.


To best understand ArtPrompt and how it works, it is probably simplest to check out the two examples provided by the research team behind the tool. In Figure 1 above, you can see that ArtPrompt easily sidesteps the protections of contemporary LLMs. The tool replaces the ‘safety word’ with an ASCII art representation of the word to form a new prompt. The LLM recognizes the ArtPrompt prompt output but sees no issue in responding, as the prompt doesn’t trigger any ethical or safety safeguards.

(Image credit: arXiv:2402.11753)

Another example provided in the research paper shows us how to successfully query an LLM about counterfeiting cash. Tricking a chatbot this way seems so basic, but the ArtPrompt developers assert how their tool fools today’s LLMs “effectively and efficiently.” Moreover, they claim it “outperforms all [other] attacks on average” and remains a practical, viable attack for multimodal language models for now.


Source: Researchers jailbreak AI chatbots with ASCII art — ArtPrompt bypasses safety measures to unlock malicious queries | Tom’s Hardware

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