AI news
January 25, 2024

The Age Of AI-Generated Porn Is Here

The future of AI-generated porn is scary. But we can’t let it control us.

Jim Clyde Monge
by 
Jim Clyde Monge

We are on the cusp of a new era in pornography.

One where AI-generated porn is the norm. This new type of media is generated by algorithms that create realistic images or videos of people who do not exist.

In the past few weeks, I have been seeing more and more synthetic naked photographs of non-existent people in Lexica — a massive collection of Stable Diffusion generated images.

What Is Stable Diffusion?

Stable Diffusion is an open-source AI model owned by Stability.AI.

It is a text-to-image tool that takes a simple descriptive text prompt of anything you can imagine and produce an image in a matter of seconds.

The AI uses a process called “diffusion” at runtime. Starting with only noise, it gradually improves an image until there is no noise left at all, bringing it more and closer to a provided text description.

It’s a permissive AI tool

Stability.AI made it an open-source software on August 2022, which means users can now tweak and disable any restrictions around it to explore the systems’ murkier side for a different sort of use case: porn.

You feed with an input like “hot blonde babe” and it gives you this image.

An image of a sexy woman wearing blue tops, blonde, no face, ai generated. Stable diffusion
Image generated by Stable Diffusion AI

It’s crazy how it is able to come up with a synthetic photo that’s almost indistinguishable from a real one.

The company’s CEO and Founder Emad Mostaque, in a tweet, said that Stable Diffusion will unlock a new form of creativity for humanity.

“Today we all made the World a more creative, happier and communicative place.

Let’s activate humanity’s potential.“

— Emad

The genie is out and can’t be put back into the bottle.

It’s The First of its Kind

Stability.AI is the first among the big players in the current AI space to make its image generator model open source.

OpenAI has put a lot of safeguards on its Dall-E2 tool to disable any form of erotic or offensive results. Until now, it’s still in private invite-only access.

Google’s Imagen has already been announced but has not been released to the public yet, also because of safety concerns.

MidJourney has recently integrated Stable Diffusion into its own AI model. Their AI discord bot, however, filters text inputs that go against their predefined rules to avoid NSFW results.

The Dangers Of AI Porn

The day is coming when we’ll all have to confront the reality of AI-generated porn. And it’s not going to be pretty.

New form deepfakes

Deepfake media are already here. The existing process alters the face of an existing image or video with someone else's. It poses particular harm to women as AI-generated porn can be used to blackmail and silence them.

In 2019, Sensity AI, a research company found that 96% of deepfake videos online were non-consensual porn.

But what about coming up with images and videos of celebrities from scratch? That’s where the new AI models like Stable Diffusion come in. Soon, deepfakes will be possible with nothing but a photo of a real person and a couple of text instructions.

Child pornography

The very idea of child pornography is repulsive and abhorrent. And now, with the advent of AI, there is a new and even more troubling development: computer-generated child pornography.

AI does not have a soul and will only follow whatever human instructs it to do. It’s extremely difficult to regulate what people try to come up with and publish using this technology.

More violent than traditional pornography

Because it is created by computers, there are no limits to what the creators can make. This can lead to some very disturbing and violent content.

So what can we do about it?

For now, not much. But we need to be aware of the problem and start thinking about solutions.

Researchers from UC Riverside claim to find a way to detect deepfake videos with up to 99% accuracy.

We also need to pressure companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Google to do more to combat AI-generated porn.

In the meantime, the best thing we can do is to be careful about what we share online. Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t want to be used against you.

As An Artistic Expression

While some see AI-generated explicit content as dangerous, others might view it as an artistic expression.

Supporters of AI-generated explicit content may argue that it is a form of art that can be used to explore human sexuality and desire. That it’s no different from medieval paintings of naked women.

Take a look at the image below. Does it provoke you? Or does it amaze you?

A medieval style painting of two women. generated by Stable Diffusion AI
Image generated by Stable Diffusion
prompt: low brow art painting by von franco, oil on canvas, exquisitely intricate details, surrealism, sexy, risque, neoclassicism, renaissance, hyper realistic, ultra detailed, cell shaded, 8k

Whether you see it as art or as a danger, there is no denying that AI-generated pornography is a controversial and polarizing topic.

It is important to have an open and honest discussion about the implications of this new technology, in order to ensure that it is used in a responsible and ethical manner.

Existing Regulations

Unfortunately, there are a few laws in the world that address the issues surrounding deepfake content.

In the U.S., Virginia and California are the first states to have regulations restricting certain use and distribution of deepfake media.

The law in Virginia imposes criminal penalties on the distribution of nonconsensual deepfake pornography, whereas the law in Texas prohibits the creation and distribution of deepfake videos intended to harm candidates for public office or influence elections.

With the rise of new AI models like Stable Diffusion, I expect more legislation and technological tools against synthetic porn will occur soon.

Final Thoughts

This new type of media has the potential to change the landscape of the pornography industry. AI-generated porn is slowly becoming realistic and can be created without the need for consent from the people who appear in the videos or images.

This means that people of all ages, races, and body types can be represented in AI-generated porn. Additionally, it can be customized to the user’s preferences and can be created to look like anyone the user wants.

The potential implications are both exciting and horrifying.

The future of AI-generated porn is scary. But we can’t let it control us.