How Lifelike Is AI-Generated Porn? Why I’m Still Not Convinced… Yet

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As advanced as it might seem, AI technology is still in its infancy. ChatGPT hallucinates random quotations, and AI image generators routinely churn out photorealistic images that could fall under the Uncanny Valley – especially in the adult space.

Malformed hands, misshapen penises, and extra appendages kill the mood. 

Are we any closer to AI generated porn that is indistinguishable from the real thing?

In this update, I’ll be looking at the current state of play in AI porn, some of the major differences you can expect between photos and full-length videos, the ethical implications of posting Billie Eilish’s face onto a random pornstar’s naked body, and some of the biggest obstacles AI porn is facing right now. 

What Does the Current AI Porn Market Look Like?

How lifelike is AI-generated porn?

While exploring the lifelike nature of different AI porn generators, I wanted to see just how far away we are from replicating the unsettling emotional connection between Theodore Twombly and Samantha in the (ahead-of-its-time) film Her. So, I pulled out my skin lotion and my laptop. 

Let’s take a closer look at how AI porn has taken over the market. Spoiler alert: It goes much deeper than photos and full-length videos. 

AI Photo Generator Sites

You can bring your most outlandish desires and fetishes to the big screen with more than 100+ AI photo generator sites. As we saw in our guide to AI porn generators, these tools are flooding the market.

PornPen, SoulGen, Sexy.ai, SeducedAI, and PornJourney are just a handful of the (mostly) free platforms that offer an unbelievable number of customizable tags. 

If you have a specific ‘model’ in mind, you can upload your own photos and go from there.

Depict an oiled-up, muscular bodybuilder with long blonde hair & baby-blue eyes getting railed by a gaggle of dominatrices. Or, keep things vanilla and build your dream woman from scratch before destroying her innocence pixel by pixel. Some of these more advanced features require payment, but you can test the services for free (if you’re willing to wait an extended period for the images to load).

Let’s be clear though… the ‘success rate’ for creating truly lifelike porn is mixed with all of these tools.

Take this example below. I’ll call her… Thunder Thighs:

Thunder Thighs

I’m all for legs, but I’m also all for oxygen.

Five minutes in the sheets with this beauty looks like a recipe for hypoxia.

As we’ll see below, the existing NSFW image generators are good… but they have a tendency to produce visual abnormalities that are still far too jarring to be classified as ‘photo realistic’.

Replika & Other Chatbots

It’s not just adult imagery that is getting an AI makeover. The whole industry of adult chat is set to be disrupted by machines.

If you’re not having much luck on Tinder and you can’t spit game at the local bar, it’s not over just yet. In fact, tens of AI girlfriends are lining up to satisfy your desire for emotional intimacy. Users can mold Replika, DreamGF, Kupid AI, and Moemate into the partner of their dreams. 

Replika is arguably the most well-known and humanlike AI companion on the market. They’re at your side on iOS, Android, desktop, and even Oculus (great for getting frisky). While the Replika you create is more than happy to be friends, they’re also willing to get strange for some change. 

On the bright side, you’d probably spend much more than $19.99 per month on trying to get laid in real-life. Sexually charged conversations are just the tip of the iceberg! Should things become hot and heavy, Replika can send NSFW photos and selfies that leave very little to imagination. 

While they stop just short of full nudity (and they could afford to pay their graphics team more), Replika’s voice chat feature is nearly indistinguishable from speaking with a real person. Still, if you couldn’t care less about having phone sex, DreamGF sends endless photorealistic images. 

DreamGF

It’s almost creepy how lifelike they are. Choose your dream partner’s ethnicity, facial features, bodily attributes, hair color, eye color, and more. Users also get to decide what kind of clothes they’re wearing (if any at all). Still, don’t expect DreamGF to sit there and listen to your feelings.

They have a voice chat feature, but DreamGF is largely intended to replace your favorite escort.

You can see how we got on when we created our very own DreamGF.

Explicit, AI-Fueled Videos

AI-fueled videos are the next step up from risqué photos, but they’re a little more dicey when it comes to being lifelike. Long-form videos aren’t where they need to be in order to hit the market, but short-form GIFs and videos mimic the kind of professional content you’d see on XHamster. 

After you’ve customized your ideal sex partner, you can depict them flashing you or see what it’s like to pound away while she’s on all fours. Viewers with an oral fixation might have an appetite for hair-pulling fellatio, mouth-to-ballsack BJs, and throat thrusting until they reach the finish line. 

If you check the latest AI video galleries on PornX, you’ll find some examples of the short clips that are possible with the latest artificial intelligence. They currently resemble thumbnail teasers rather than actual porn scenes. Even with just seconds of content, the body movement still feels… alien.

Limbs move out of sync, certain body parts contort in ways that really can’t be healthy, and the eye contact is relentless. Watch a couple of clips and you’ll see that we still have a long way to go to mimic real-life porn in video form.

AI Porn Games

It’s not just adult pics and videos that are on the chopping block. Machines are taking us closer to that holy grail of adult gaming: the virtual companion.

AI and VR porn games transport players to an entirely new world. Sadomasochists might fall in love with their Yandere (translation: batshit crazy) AI Girlfriend, which is powered by ChatGPT for a uniquely terrifying experience.

Angry Yandere

While chatting to characters derived from ChatGPT can make for a dynamic and interactive experience – one that feels nicely unscripted – I’m still not sure that I’d describe these virtual GFs as ‘lifelike’.

The conversations are stilted and one-way. The responses feel canned in a way that is instantly recognisable to anybody who has spent five minutes inside ChatGPT.

But it’s early days.

How Advanced is the Technology Behind AI Porn?

As realistic as it might appear at first glance, AI porn is distinctly inhuman.

It’s powered by an algorithm of 1s and 0s that formulate erotic photos by vacuuming up pre-made content and spitting it back out with extra twists and turns. Stable Diffusion was the birthplace of AI imagery (and, thus, porn). 

At first, pearl-clutching and publicly traded Puritanical companies blocked AI porn content. After PornPen hit the market, it became evidently clear that we’ve had the technology to produce decent AI porn since 2022. AI images have become exponentially more realistic over the past two years.

You can already use a text prompt to generate images based around a certain theme or setting. DALLE 3 and Stable Diffusion are slated to improve in the next 5 – 10 years, which indicates an excitingly erotic future for the horniest connoisseurs of AI porn videos (and even voice chats).

This is assuming, of course, that the machines can be trained on the huge quantity of data that is necessary to create their own porn. The algorithm has to be taught, which means the training content has to be sourced. This is one of the reasons why NSFW AI imagery still falls short of the mainstream image generators, which are getting exponentially better with every release.

Neural learning networks like ChatGPT have also been able to mimic the voices of celebrities and specific individuals. In September of last year, OpenAI added a revolutionary feature to GPT-4. You can have back-and-forth conversations with personalized AI in real time. 

Scarily enough, we’re only watching the rudimentary stages of AI technology unfold right now. 

What Are the Major Differences Between Photos & Videos?

AI-generated photos are more put together than AI videos – you’re less likely to see morphed appendages, visibly fake “Barbie Skin”, and people with an extra eyeball or three. Viewers can also expect higher-resolution graphics and striking attention to detail from AI-generated photos. 

If you’ve ever seen this fully AI-generated burger commercial, it explains why the AI version of Pornhub hasn’t exactly skyrocketed to mainstream popularity. Videos have a long way to go. 

What We Like (And Hate) About AI-Generated Porn

All jokes aside, AI porn has the potential to reduce human exploitation in the sex work industry. It’s nearly lifelike, customizable to your exact desires, and significantly cheaper than traditional porn. However, it also has the potential to reduce work for adult creators with a smaller platform. 

There is one nifty workaround that content creators might find interesting! People can create an AI likeness of themselves, allowing them to rake in the dough without selling their body online. 

As it stands, most OnlyFans creators with a huge following outsource their direct messages to ghostwriters. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Tana Mongeau isn’t responding to “Hey, wassup”. 

Stars like Riley Reid and Lena The Plug have already dabbled in AI chat bots through the use of Clona.ai, a chatting service trained on their existing content to provide an intimate one-to-one experience.

AI porn stars on Clona

Because AI porn is still a relatively recent phenomenon, there’s no telling how it will continue to influence the sex work industry. The impact of AI porn on content creators’ bank accounts will largely depend on how adaptable they become in the face of something new and unavoidable. 

Unfortunately, AI porn going mainstream comes with the potential for non-consenting individuals to be depicted in NSFW photos & videos. “Deepfake” images are becoming a very real concern. 

The Legal & Ethical Implications of Deepfake Photos

Celebrities have always been the center of public attention, but artificial intelligence enables bad actors to create deepfake images of influential figures that never consented to being depicted as cut-rate pornstars. These “deepfake” pictures circulate around the Internet with zero restrictions.

Obviously, I don’t have to mention that using someone’s likeness for a creampie shot is creepy. Hitting a bit closer to home, AI technology enables jealous exes to create revenge porn without having real nudes. Some websites allow you to paste a face picture onto someone else’s body. 

Celebrity deepfakes aren’t going anywhere, and they’re only going to become even more real with the passage of time. As it stands, skilled photoshoppers can work their magic to create deepfakes that are nearly indistinguishable from a real picture. This is a scary realization. 

Ethically speaking, it’s very easy for maliciously horny viewers to create content that can be immensely damaging to individuals. However, deepfakes aren’t illegal in most places. Virginia, New York, California, and several other states have imposed criminal penalties & fines on people who post deepfakes. 

From a federal standpoint, there’s no law prohibiting you from painting an unwitting person’s face onto a famous pornstar’s body. This is what happens when you let nine retirees decide whether or not AI porn should be legal, but the growth of AI porn will likely force their hand. 

Even out-of-touch politicians who couldn’t find their way around a Facebook feed are calling for stricter regulations after Francesca Mani, a teenage deepfake victim, shined the spotlight on her situation. Her classmates had created explicit deepfakes of her and more than thirty other girls. 

Plenty of other victims have spoken out since New York proposed the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act to the House Judiciary Committee. On January 16th 2024, Francesca Mani appeared alongside Rep. Joe Morelle to advocate for the federal criminalization of deepfakes. 

She remarked that “no kid, teen, or woman should ever have to experience what I went through. I felt sad and helpless.” 

As the AI-sex landscape continues growing and becoming more realistic, laws will have to get with the times. Otherwise, the biggest revolution in sex work since Pornhub is doomed to fail. 

The Biggest Giveaways That Porn is AI-Generated

When we assess the risks of deepfake porn, it seems counter-productive to urge ‘better and more realistic‘ from our favorite image generating tools.

Photos are less prone to adding appendages than videos, but there are some dead giveaways that porn is AI-generated. Before it can be considered truly lifelike, here’s where the tools will have to improve.

Distorted/Extra Fingers 

AI-generated porn, especially photos and videos that feature multiple people, is prone to adding fingers and toes where they shouldn’t be. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo: everything looks to be normal at first glance, but taking a closer look reveals deformed hands, feet, and even penises. 

Talk about killing the vibes. 

Check out the hands on this pretty young AI model

Mangled AI

We’ve got extra distorted fingers, different coloured nails, a bizarre block ear (complete with ear-rings suspended in mid-air), and… I don’t even know what you’d call that woman in the background.

Oh, and the t-shirt text: completely garbled.

I’ve yet to see any improvement in AI’s ability to output legible shirts or signage.

Uneven Facial Proportions

The overall quality of AI-produced content is largely dependent on which generator you’re using. For example, paying for a monthly subscription to PornPen is going to yield better results than using a free platform. 

That said, uneven facial proportions (like missing teeth or a crooked jaw) make an appearance from time to time. Certain appendages will sometimes blend into whatever background they’re portrayed in. For example, two people making out could merge into a massive, jumbled mess.

AI Porn Jumbled Mess

Note how the bodies combine in to a weird miso-mash of limbs. If you look closely at the woman in lingerie with red nails, you’ll see a deformed finger. The algorithm is convincing, but there are still plenty of glitches in the matrix.

Plasticky Barbie Skin

As I played around with some of the free AI generators, I noticed a widespread problem: most characters spring to life with overly pronounced skin tones. Characters also tend to have plasticky skin, which takes away from their other lifelike attributes. 

The human eye is trained to pick up on imperfections. Images created by AI often look, quite literally, too good to be true.

Can AI-Generated Porn Ever Replace Traditional Porn?

AI porn might come with all the bells and whistles, but anyone who has 20/20 vision can spot the differences between real-life photos/videos and AI-generated content in its current state. Even the best NSFW AI content generators aren’t able to mimic the essence of a real person. 

However, this could drastically change in the next few years. Rather than growing at a fixed rate, AI technology is becoming exponentially more advanced every year. It’s only a matter of time before 100% AI content and human-made porn are indistinguishable from each other. 

As unethical as they might be, deepfake images marked the introduction of artificial intelligence to real-life content. Coincidentally, deepfakes are the only AI-generated porn that’s able to pass as human-made. In the future, AI might be able to create deepfakes with no human assistance. 

It’s not a matter of if, but when, AI porn videos will become indistinguishable from IRL flicks. Even in the next year or two, we’ll probably be astounded by advancements in technology. 

What’s the Future of Artificial Intelligence in the Porn Industry?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – artificial intelligence hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential. OpenAI lived up to their name by opening Pandora’s Box with the first iteration of ChatGPT, and you can’t force the cat back in the bag. Artificial intelligence is here to stay! 

Depending on how you view advancements in AI technology, you’re either terrified or excited to see what happens next. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground when it comes to people’s opinions about artificial intelligence. 

Porn connoisseurs can look forward to plenty more AI options, and it’s a likely possibility that AI will become a tool used by content creators to stay relevant. As machine-made dream girls threaten to replace the top earners on OnlyFans, models will put together AI avatars that bend over backwards with no effort required.

Instead of completely replacing traditional porn, artificial intelligence is on track to merge with existing conglomerates like Pornhub and XVideos.

As of right now, AI porn generators are taking over the hentai community with curated cartoons. It might not be at the stage where it’s indistinguishable from real-life content just yet, but hentai pictures & videos are much easier for AI generators to create with a simple, text-based prompt. 

Stable Diffusion might not budge on the ethical front, but their arch-nemesis Unstable Diffusion provides uncensored image generation. They aspire to combat well-founded concerns such as deepfakes, child sexual abuse material, excessive gore, and the possibility of AI revenge porn. 

With the appropriate regulations in place, AI porn is set to revolutionize the sex work industry. But we’re going to see some almighty disruption along the way – in months, not years.

AUTHOR PROFILE

Simon Regal

Simon Regal is the editor and founder of AdultVisor, with a decade of experience covering the adult entertainment industry. Simon's background includes collaborations with two pioneering adult studios at the forefront of VR tech. His work has been featured in Men's Health, Vice and TechCrunch. Simon is a regular attendee on the adult conference circuit, making appearances at XBiz, The European Summit and AdultCon in 2023. Say hello if you see him!
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