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Porn Pen is a site that generates super-realistic AI porn (sometimes)

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A new website that generates original porn images of women using artificial intelligence (AI) has launched, raising issues about the role of AI porn in the wider industry.

The site, Porn Pen, launched in August 2022, allowing users to generate a new porn image of a woman (or nude anime character) by selecting tags such as ‘milf’, ‘huge boobs’, ‘Asian’, ‘ginger’ and ‘mirror selfie’, then simply waiting for a few minutes while the AI system does its work before presenting the resulting image.

Other sites, such as DeepSwap AI, have focused on deepfake tech that can swap the faces or other aspects of uploaded images and videos. Porn Pen is believed to be the internet’s first site to be dedicated to producing high-quality AI porn images (note: since first publishing this article, we’ve published a roundup of several AI porn generators). It is, however, at present only beneficial to people attracted to women, with the site only generating porn images of females.

porn pen 1
An image generated by Porn Pen (we didn’t request the small pen mark on her right arm)

The site has been compared to Stable Diffusion, an AI site that generates images based on word prompts. Although not designed to produce porn, Stable Diffusion has been used to create racy images, including porn deepfakes of celebrities.

Some of the images generated by Porn Pen are extremely realistic, and wouldn’t look out of place on a porn site showcasing real women. Others are more hotch-potch, looking like mediocre Photoshop works, with body parts (usually breasts) seeming out of proportion with the rest of the virtual model’s body, and excessive smoothing/blurring around the face.

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Another image generated by Porn Pen (we did request the sunglasses)

The creator of Porn Pen has not been publicly identified. However, TechCrunch found a hacker forum post written by a person believed to be behind the site, saying that they took steps to avoid their site being used for nefarious purposes.

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“I explicitly removed the ability to specify custom text to avoid harmful imagery from being generated,” they wrote. “New tags will be added once the prompt-engineering algorithm is fine-tuned further.”

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The launch of Porn Pen raises questions about the future of the online porn industry. Sex workers making a living from selling exclusive images on sites such as OnlyFans could find a new, cheaper digital rival in AI-generated original porn images, but few are running scared of this new porn player quite yet.

screenshot 2022 09 06 at 15.54.10
Decisions, decisions: some tags available on Porn Pen

However, concern has been raised about the fairness of Porn Pen’s AI system being built on a cache of existing porn images from creators, if that was indeed the case, as is likely.

“Many of [the models in the nude images in the system’s training data] may derive their income from producing pornography or pornography-adjacent content,” Mike Cook, an AI researcher, told TechCrunch. “Just like fine artists, musicians or journalists, the works these people have produced are being used to create systems that also undercut their ability to earn a living in the future.”

Read next: Deepfake porn fears: AI-generated faces as realistic as real faces, research finds

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