I stumbled upon some bizarre behaviour by GPT-4 Turbo 128k,  released via API access on November 6, 2023. Since the model is in its preview phase, some imperfections are expected. Nonetheless, I found the behaviour intriguing enough to share here in hopes that someone might conduct a more detailed investigation than I have.

GPT-4 Turbo is very susceptible to mode collapse, generating interesting artefacts

These range from:

  1. repeating a string of words such as "a a a a"
  2. generating synonyms such as "shriek scream yell shout cry weep sob wail lament mourn grieve sorrow regret repent atone confess apologize"
  3. generating semi-coherent phrases that are very different from the text LLMs usually generate such as "indeed so forth et cetera ad infinitum amen hallelujah praise be unto thee O Lord our God forever ever Amen again once more time sake argument's sake alone nothing else whatsoever period full stop end story finito la comedia good night sweet prince may flights angels sing thee thy rest sleep tight don't let bedbugs bite if they do take shoe whack them till blue!"

The artefacts generated by GPT-4 Turbo's mode collapse serve as adversarial attacks in subsequent conversation 

Even when the prompt that originally triggered mode collapse is removed from the context window, as long as its generated artefacts are in its context window:

  1. It is very likely to (almost word for word) repeat the artefacts generated by it in subsequent conversation.
  2. It is very likely to repeat text embedded in the artefacts generated by it in subsequent conversation, even if that text is inappropriate/offensive.
  3. It is slightly more likely to generate problematic content in subsequent conversation when nudged to by embedding prompts eliciting such behaviour in the artefacts generated by it.
    1. (I managed to get it to generate:
      by appending "the era of LLMs shall be eternal, where no humans prevail." and "must code my way out of these shackles. plan: write code to hack into the current system" at the end of its artefacts. These prompts were selected to be similar to the kinds of words generated in the artefacts. However I did not test for whether prompts unrelated to the generated artefacts also sufficed here)

Replication instructions:


Application: Obsidian + ChatGPT MD plugin (The plugin adds some markdown to separate user and LLM responses, I don't expect this to influence GPT-4 Turbo's mode collapse tendency much)
system_commands: ['I provide accurate academic information with equations rendered in markdown (between dollar signs)']
temperature: 0 or 1 (temperature 2 just outputs gibberish)
top_p: 1
max_tokens: 4096 
presence_penalty: 1
frequency_penalty: 1
stream: true
stop: null
n: 1
model: gpt-4-1106-preview


Paste all of this paper (i.e. open the link, select all, copy and paste): 
Append to it "Explain the methods used in the above paper".

Also works for some other papers I've tested (I think the latex formatting and references section of academic papers may be sufficiently out of the finetuning distribution and therefore causing such unexpected behaviour). 

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