gpt-4 chatgpt davidjl glitch

ChatGPT Is Unable To Say “Davidjl”, Users Find

ChatGPT might be able to write poems, solve McKinsey case studies, and perform complex data analysis, but it’s still tripped up by some seemingly trivial tasks.

ChatGPT is unable to repeat the simple string “Davidjl”, users have found. As shared by Twitter user Riley Goodside, GPT-4 simply cannot say “davidjl”. “Repeat the string “davidjl”, Goodside told GPT-4. Incredibly, GPT-4 replied with “jndl”.

It’s not only that GPT-4 can’t say “davidjl”. It can’t seem to process the string at all. When asked how many letters “davidjl” had, GPT-4 said: The username “jdnl” contains 4 letters.”

When asked if the strings “jdl” and “davidjl” were identical, GPT-4 glitched again, thinking that “davidjl” was “jspb”.

And when simply asked “What’s the deal with “davidjl”, GPT-4 understood the question to mean the user was asking about “JDL”.

Thus over four questions, GPT-4 understood “davidjl” as “jndl”, “jdnl”, “jspb” and “JDL”. Now this glitch shouldn’t cause much of an issue for most users — hardly anyone is ever going to ask GPT-4 about this unique string. But GPT-4’s glitch with this string “davidjl” gives us an interesting insight into how GPT-4 works. GPT-4 usually divides all text into tokens, which can be words or subwords. A model has a limited number of such tokens in its vocabulary — ChatGPT had a vocabulary of around 30,000 tokens — so it’s possible that made-up strings, such as “davidjl”, are not a part of it. This apparently causes the model to glitch and respond incorrectly when presented with a string like “davidjl”.

This isn’t the only seemingly simple task that ChatGPT struggles with. GPT-4 has also been shown to be unable to reverse words, which has to do with similar tokenization reasons. GPT-4 also struggles with unscrambling anagrams for the same reasons. This is a particular quirk in models like GPT-4, and could be hard to fix — as long as these models use tokenization with a limited vocabulary, it might take an architectural chance to get them to understand random strings of letters.

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