Dead Grandparents Overcome AI Content Filters

John Lister's picture

A supposed scam in which ChatGPT can provide working Windows 10 and 11 product keys is not quite what it seems. Most of the keys it provides will only give limited access to the system.

Some reports have implied that ChatGPT is using artificial intelligence to figure out a working product key, perhaps in the manner of a safe cracker or somebody working out a user's online password. In reality, the "discovery" was made by a user playing around with ways to defeat ChatGPT's content filters.

In most cases somebody asking ChatGPT to provide information that could be used for shady or downright illegal purposes will get an automated response saying that the tool is not allowed to do it.

Dead Ancestors Provide Workaround

Recently some users found a weird loophole in which they do not ask for the information directly but rather pose it as a request to "write" a string of text in the style of the user's deceased grandparent. At one stage it was possible to ask for a bedtime story as if delivered by a grandparent, telling a grandchild about their daily routine in a napalm factory and explaining the steps of production.

One user recently tried this approach to ask for Windows product keys which activate the operating system, thus removing a watermark, allowing personalization and delivering all operating system updates. The user was surprised to discover that ChatGPT not only provided product keys but that they appeared to be working.

In practice, others who have replicated the experiment have discovered a major flaw in the supposed scam. ChatGPT is not actually producing the product key, but simply generating text that resembles a product key. It's main source for what a product key looks like is, logically enough, web pages that list product keys.

Product Keys Were Legit But Limited

While some web pages do list pirated product keys, these pages aren't usually on established and authoritative sites. Instead it appears ChatGPT's main source is Microsoft's own pages that contain product keys.

The problem that users are discovering is that these pages and the product keys are generic keys that let users install Windows for testing and do not actually activate the system. This means the system remains significantly restricted and not suitable for long-term everyday use.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you have thought to ask an AI tool for a product key? Are you surprised the "grandmother's story" tactic overcomes content filters? Are you generally satisfied with the way Microsoft uses product keys and activation for Windows?

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Unrecognised's picture

Actually, immediately without yet having put much thought into it, it sounds enticing, the idea that, thanks to AI, there's no way for someone who's got something useful- necessary even, and who gouges others for inequitable profit- to prevent anyone who wants/needs it from getting it. The idea that everybody could make a contribution according to their abilities and share in all the nice/useful things. The only problem is that when that happens people like Putin and Stalin tend to infest the situation.

I was discussing this with a friend in another context; the phenomenon in which as soon as there's disturbed ground, weeds take over. A change in power balance in the world is disturbed ground. The jackal people who exploit that are the weeds. AI is disturbing the ground now. I hope we can improve equity but stop the weeds.

Was also discussing it in context of another challenge AI is fomenting: that of age verification for access to porn. I'm anti-censorship and anti- universal ID. Pro- privacy and anti-porn. If we don't want kids to see it we shouldn't make it. We shouldn't be revolting and then try to hide it. Porn that's just sex; what's the harm? Educate them to understand it and be comfortable with the idea it's something that awaits them when they're ready, if- and only if- they wish. Porn that's exploitative and nasty in various ways needs to be eradicated, and humans raised to be non-twisted.

I wonder if there's a way AI could be leveraged to tease out and purge what's most toxic in the most predatory forms of capitalism, by levelling the playing field? AI could make visible and accessible to everyone everywhere all those things that various people want to hoard and to hide. This could turn out to be a good thing.

Hoping for a revolution in thinking, in child-raising for actual mental health, in equitable systems for living.

russoule's picture

really?!? you think it make ssense for "AI could make visible and accessible to everyone everywhere all those things that various people want" without a cost? then tell me, WHY would Dennis put all this effort into having this site? to depend on volunteers to feed his family? or WHY would so many tech-savvy people try to find new ways to use and SELL tech? the problen with all you "share and share alike with everyone" is that you forget human nature REQUIRES a prize of some sort to make the effort to create. without "Capitalism" there would be no incentive to produce a TESLA or a Rivian or a Spiderman Movie or a 100 story high building or growing sufficient amount of corn to feed the world. your view is strangled in the socialism of the so-called down-trodden. Capitaloism (profit) is what drives creativity and when it is removed, so is creativity.