AI & Porn 2023 : Journal Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence, Pornography, and Sex Work
Call For Papers
We invite proposals for a special issue of the journal Porn Studies focused on the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on pornography and sex work. The rapid advancement of AI technology and its increasing influence on these sectors present pressing ethical and societal issues that require further examination.
Since 2022, public use of AI has sharply increased, due in no small part to the media attention paid to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Numerous sites and apps, such as MidJourney or DALL-E, now offer AI image generation, transforming a user's written prompt into a recognisable image via an artificial neural network. Such platforms have content moderation policies and guard rails in place to prevent sexual imagery, but that has now led to the creation of a number of websites offering AI porn production. Those sites join a marketplace that already has many companies offering deepfake technology, something that also employs AI to merge porn clips and stills with the faces of celebrities – or, increasingly, with noncelebrities. The promise of AI image generation is something new, however, creating photo-quality images of people that have never existed, as well as photorealistic images of impossible bodies, acts and situations (e.g. realistic furries, aliens, and mutations of the human body). Beyond the image, AIs are also being integrated into sex work, with chatbots such as Replika offering explicit erotic conversations as part of their “virtual companion” service, and reports of sex workers on OnlyFans employing AI to generate automatic responses to subscribers. Finally, the integration of teledildonics and sex robots with artificial intelligence continues apace, with the promise of ever more lifelike interactions.
The aim of all this technological advance is clear: a fully customizable pornatorium that escapes the physical limitations of performance and fully realizes the desiring imagination. However, these advancements also raise critical questions about ethics, legality, and the implications for individuals in the industry.
The editors would like to stress that we welcome contributions from multiple disciplinary angles.
Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):
• Evaluating approaches to content moderation in mainstream AI image generators and their effectiveness.
• Ethical and legal challenges associated with the use of AI in pornography and sex work.
• Implications of AI for sex workers, including potential threats or opportunities.
• The ethics and legality of AI image creation in pornography, especially given the use of photographs of real bodies in the underlying dataset.
• The implications of replacing the human element in porn, considering all genders.
• The exploration of inherent implicit biases (racial / ethnic) in AI image generations.
• Depictions of AIs in porn and/or sex work in fiction, films, or other media.
• Impact of AI on the perceptions and consumption patterns of porn users.
• Implications of AI-generated content for the mental health and well-being, both of consumers and sex work practitioners.
• Issues of privacy and consent, especially in cases involving deepfakes and non-consensual image generation.
• Policy and regulatory evolutions needed to address the integration of AI in pornography and sex work.
• What role do tech companies and AI developers play in mitigating the potential negative consequences of AI applications, particularly the generation of content considered to be illegal? Are there best practices that can be adopted?
• AI’s potential to contribute to the creation of more ethical, inclusive, and diverse pornography and sex work experiences.
• Porn’s impacts, both positive and negative, on the development of AI tech.
Submissions should initially be in the form of a 300 word abstract, which should be sent to both editors (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org), no later than Monday 4th August.
Accepted papers will be due on March 1st, 2024. All papers will be subject to the journal’s normal peer-review process and are expected to be published online in Fall 2024.
We look forward to your contributions as we delve into this critical area of study.