Okay, so Mia Khalifa or Johnny Sins might not be getting replaced tomorrow. But the threat of AI stealing their jobs isn’t impossible.

It’s already happening in the food industry with machines working in smoothie shops and pizza parlors, even the creative field isn’t safe either. There are bots that can mimic authors’ writing styles and create their own horror fiction.

Even the most out-there jobs, like adult film acting, could be threatened by AI.

Yes, that’s right. AI is making its way into the adult industry. If this is the first time you’re hearing of this, here’s some background on AI and the adult media industry:

AI in porn?! How is that even possible?

You may have heard of deep fakes — fake photos or videos that are used to replace existing photos or images — being used in movies like Back to the Future. The same concept is being applied to the adult film industry.

Deep fakes are possible thanks to GANs — generative adversarial networks — which are neural network-based learning algorithms that can train artificial intelligence on any image data set.

Basically, it’s coding that allows a bot to replicate images. The technology is accessible to anyone who knows how to use it, because the code is open-source.

This form of AI had humble beginnings, but evolved quickly to become the deceitful movie-making magic tool it is today. It used to be used for image classification, meaning bots could “view” an image and generate text to accurately describe it.

Now, it has improved and can do the opposite — the bots can create images based off of provided text descriptions.

NVidia created StyleGAN and refined this image creation process to allow for the impressively realistic deepfakes we can see today.

In the world of porn, deepfakes have been used to create a hentai anime camgirl who amassed over 14,000 followers within just three days of opening an online account.

She argues that she doesn’t have to worry about her safety or deal with annoying viewers like human cam models do. While hentai isn’t everyone’s thing and this particular camgirl isn’t likely to replace porn stars, adult film actors still have a reason to watch out for the technology.

Why it might not be such a great idea…

Being able to create videos featuring fake people who are almost indistinguishable from real people is cool.

But the deepfake technology can be used for bad things too. When you combine deepfakes with fake news, you get videos of political candidates or those already in office making statements they would never actually say, and news videos of journalists giving false information.

This can be used to cause widespread panic, damage reputations, and when used in stock market-related news, can have serious economic consequences.

Examples of misuse of the technology have already shown up in porn — actresses and other media figures have had their faces placed onto fake porn stars to make it appear as if they were in adult films themselves.

Although they didn’t exactly create a deepfake because the technology wasn’t yet available, the creators of the Back to the Future sequel were slammed with a lawsuit after they recast actor Crispin Glover, but spliced in clips of him to make it appear as if he was actually in the film.

Similar lawsuits could arise if more movie studios choose to replace actors and use their images to create deepfakes without their consent.

So this issue with this AI isn’t just a matter of stolen jobs, but also of stolen identities. These fake AI imposters can cause real damage to the lives of the people they are impersonating.

The use of fake porn actors may also affect our society on another level. There is research that suggests watching porn creates unrealistic beauty standards. So what will happen to those warped expectations of how our bodies should look if porn stars literally aren’t real? The concept is too new to draw any conclusions just yet, but it is definitely something to think about.

Maybe it isn’t so bad…

Deepfake technology can also be used to create helpful virtual humans. These digital influencers are like full-body visualizations of Alexa, and characters like Joi in Blade Runner 2049, or the operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson in the movie Her.

Imagine speaking to a virtual counsellor, fitness instructor, and customer support person.

The technology to make it happen isn’t far off.

Virtual personal assistants could also come in handy in places like nursing homes, where residents may be lonely and struggle to carry on a conversation due to memory-related issues.

TL;DR: The porn stars of tomorrow might be fake, and we aren’t just referring to plastic surgery. With video mimicry technology, it is possible to create full body pornographic deepfake videos that feature zero real human beings.

On one hand, the technology can be used for entertainment, but on the other, it can be abused to blackmail real people and deceive the public.

Will AI ever replace the real thing? Probably not. The deepfakes we have today aren’t quite so sophisticated that they can fool everyone. But who knows what will happen in a few years?