404 Media Generative AI Market Analysis: People Love to Cum

A list of the top 50 generative AI websites shows non-consensual porn is a driving force for the buzziest technology in years.
404 Media Generative AI Market Analysis: People Love to Cum
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Last week, Andreesen Horowitz, one of the most influential capital venture firms in Silicon Valley, published a blog that attempts to provide a high level analysis of the current state of the generative AI market. Somehow it entirely misses or just chooses to ignore one of the clearest driving forces behind the most buzzy new technology to emerge in more than a decade, despite presenting evidence showing exactly this: People want to cum.

The Andreesen Horowitz (also called a16z) analysis is derived from crude but telling data—internet traffic. Using website traffic tracking company Similarweb, a16z ranks the top 50 generative AI websites on the internet by monthly visits, as of June 2023. This data provides an incomplete picture of what people are doing with AI because it’s not tracking use of popular AI apps like Replika (where people sext with virtual companions) or Telegram chatbots like Forever Companion, which allows users to talk to chatbots trained on the voices of influencers like Amouranth and Caryn Marjorie (who just want to talk about sex).

However, as a16z partner and investor Olivia Moore notes in her blog, most of the popular AI tools are accessible primarily via websites, so the data does show us something. In Moore’s eyes, there are lessons here about how smaller players can still win in this space or how user acquisition is mostly organic. That seems right to me, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t invest millions of dollars for a venture capital firm (the only investment advice I can give is that you should become a paid subscriber to 404 Media).

What I can tell you without a doubt by looking at this list of the top 50 generative AI websites is that, as has always been the case online and with technology generally, porn is a major driving force in how people use generative AI in their day to day lives.

Unfortunately this time a lot of it is not consensual. The first and most obvious example on the list comes in at number seven with CivitAI. This is the same website that a 404 Media investigation has shown is widely used by people to create non-consensual AI generated images of celebrities, athletes, Instagram influencers, YouTubers, and more, performing any sexual act you can imagine, and many that you can’t. On CivitAI, Moore writes that its high placement “is especially impressive because consumers are typically visiting these sites to download models to run locally, so web traffic is likely an underestimate of actual usage.” As we wrote in August, in addition to AI models of specific real people, some of the most popular models on CivitAI a16z is referring to here are “Uber Realistic Porn Model,” “Erect Horse Penis,” “Realistic Vaginas - Innie Pussy 1,” and “Instant Cumshot.” As our investigation has shown, CivitAI makes it easy to combine these porn models with models of real people, which people do all the time.

The most disgusting example comes in at the very end, with DeepSwap at number 50. This is the same website that Sam and I covered last year because it explicitly advertised on porn tube sites like its ability to make deepfake porn of anyone you can get a picture of. These video ads autoplay porn, then show how the site swaps in a porn performer's face with the face of someone the user has a picture of. These exact same ads for DeepSwap were still running on porn tube sites as of August 19.

The closest Moore comes to identifying what many people are doing with generative AI is when discussing, which she writes people use for “companionship.”

Other examples on a16z’s list that are directly tied to AI porn:

  • #24: ElevenLabs, which creates deepfake audio. Some of this has been used to make celebrities say terrible things, but it’s also been used for creating sexual content of video game voice actors.
  • #30:, which is like, but allows and is filled with erotica.
  • #36: Stable Diffusion, the open source AI model that powers much of the text-to-image AI porn models online, including those on CivitAI.
  • #42:, a site for generating and viewing AI porn images.

There are deeply complicated problems with all of these sites, as with all generative AI whether it’s making adult content or not, because they are built on top of datasets that have scraped the internet without consent from original creators to produce AI-generated images, voices, and text. Even if you can’t always identify a particular person in the resulting AI product, these are our voices, images, and writing that are making this possible. Maybe in the next few months and years, this won’t be seen as a big deal, and AI generated sexual images of real people will be  as commonplace as any illustrator’s ability to draw someone naked, but we as a society have not been able to decide yet because no one stopped to ask about the ethical repercussions before this tech was widely spread and used.

Even if we put ethical questions aside, it is absurd that a tech industry kingmaker like a16z can look at this data, write a blog titled “How Are Consumers Using Generative AI?” and not come to the obvious conclusion that people are using it to jerk off. If you are actually interested in the generative AI boom and you are not identifying porn as core use for the technology, you are either not paying attention or intentionally pretending it’s not happening.