Our list of red flags keeps growing

Mina Kristine Aarseth & Maiken Larsen Solholmsvik

‘Big boobs, a tiny waist, a sexy face with innocent-looking childishly disproportionate eyes, the popular prompt “Victorian style”, thick thighs, petite woman’ —AI generators are programmed in a way that it opens for a new genre in pornography, in which you can create your dream scene. With an open mind and plenty of curiosity, we have tried to observe how AI views women in general, and especially in AI-generated and man-prompted porn.

It didn’t take long before we saw that AI can appear to discriminate us women. An article that made this especially clear to us, recalls when the American-owned company Amazon, in 2018, used AI-generators in their interview process for interviewing job applicants. This resulted in the AI-model not choosing any women from the applications. This probably came from the fact that their AI-model was influenced by those already employed in the technical department of Amazon's company, which probably consist mostly of men. Therefore, the generator only chose men, as it was programmed to reflect the already known input data. This resulted in only employing men for the position (Ervik, 2022).

AI-generators learn from its users and make a ‘pattern” based on what is considered a ‘success’. This comes from not being able to disconnect from the pattern unless it's specified in the requested prompts. When it comes to pornography created by AI-generators, it works in the same way. It generates content based on the prompts requested by its users, as well as on earlier results—just like any other echo chamber.

When looking deeper into what kind of porn different AI-generators make, our list of red flags keeps growing. For instance, we have observed that there is an overemphasis on young, light skinned women with, in our opinion, unrealistic bodies; depicting big boobs, tiny waists and thick thighs. They are often in degrading positions, when, on the other hand, the only parts of men we have seen are giant dicks penetrating these women.

On the social media network Reddit, people can ‘dive into their interests, hobbies and passions’. After a quick search about the topic ‘AI porn’, we felt that we were reading things that were not meant for us as women. There were a lot of threads about the topic where people shared their own generated porn or asked for specific tips on how to generate their ‘dream porn’. We noticed that ‘deep-nudes' was among the most popular themes.

‘Is there a way to undress the girl from the picture I have?’ was one of the threads, and reading the comments felt like reading an illegal and highly immoral recipe. Apparently, there are a lot of ways to do this, and there are a lot of free generators that make it happen in about two clicks. ‘Fake nudes’ is not a new phenomenon, but it seems to be acquiring a much larger following because it is becoming more available and easily done.

Based on this observation we, as students, have designed a visual representation of our research on how women are portrayed by AI, based on popular prompts; in order to make what is being created visible to you, too, without you having to suffer through anything more than our visual hints of what is happening out there.

visual representation of observations
visual representation of observations
visual representation of observations
visual representation of observations