As AI-generated porn becomes more advanced, adult film performers—like their mainstream peers—are calling for more protections against the unauthorized use of their likenesses and fair compensation for their content.
For legendary adult performer and head of Star Factory PR, Tanya Tate, the rise of artificial intelligence and deepfakes is eerily familiar.
“It feels to me the way it did when there was a rise in pirated content, and the content that we had made was taken and re-purposed or re-uploaded to the internet,” she said, noting that fans would visit a free pirate site instead of a legitimate one.
Generative AI refers to AI models, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, that use prompts to create images, videos, text, and music. Unlike traditional pornography that relies on humans and recording equipment, AI porn offers unlimited possibilities using text-to-image tools or face-swapping technology.
Thanks to the proliferation of AI, it’s easier than ever to create realistic recreations of human beings. AI deepfakes have been used to put world leaders in fake sexual encounters and create realistic AI sexbots and companions.
Not all porn stars are resisting the technology. In August, adult performer Brandi Love partnered with AI developer Forever Voices to create a Telegram chatbot. Other actors using AI to create AI companions include Amouranth, Caryn Marjorie, Lena Moon, and Adriana Chechik.
Fake actors, however, are another matter entirely.
“We can’t compete with AI images of girls as these figures are ‘perfect’ in the viewer’s eyes,” Tate said. “They aren’t real, but there is already a market for fans interacting with these AI models.”
Tate said she is not against AI in general, but asserted that performers must be able to protect their content, image, and name, including going through the legal system for cease-and-desist and take-down orders. Especially for deepfakes.
“The first question I’d want to know is if the performer is getting a cut of that money,” Tate said. “If someone’s viewing it for free—if someone’s using my likeness or my name and then put it out there—am I getting a cut of that money?”
Tate began her adult film career in 2009 and has appeared in over 200 films, including porn parodies of Game of Thrones and Spartacus. In 2012, Tate launched the public relations firm Star Factory PR, whose client list includes adult performers Angela White, Zaawaadi, Alexis Fawx, and Kianna Dior.
Outside of her work in PR and as a performer, Tate also advocates for free speech, privacy, and equal consideration for female performers in policymaking directed toward the adult industry. Tate emphasized that while adults should be free to enjoy adult content, for example, she is 100% against children having access to pornography.
Even without the rise of AI and deepfake technology, Tate explained that social media is already filled with fake accounts using her likeliness and content. Not helping matters is the ongoing stigma sex workers face, forcing them and their fans to stay in the shadows.
“It’s really difficult,” Tate said. “If someone is in the mainstream, I’m sure it’s much easier.”
She said that if enough mainstream studios and actors with big budgets for legal teams can crackdown on illegal deepfakes, new guidelines may be enacted that simultaneously protect the adult film industry.
The potential use of AI has been a sticking point in the ongoing negotiations between the members of SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike that began on July 5 passed its 100th day this week. But while the attention has been on Hollywood, Tate feels the adult industry is left behind and out of the conversation.
“People don’t stick up for the adult industry,” Tate said. “It always feels like the mainstream industry isn’t bothered until it’s happening to them.”
While Tate acknowledged that the rise of artificial intelligence in her industry is inevitable, she said the business must pivot and adapt to leverage AI for its own financial gain, and use AI as a valuable tool to enhance a performer’s career—not replace it.
“I use AI as the first step, not the final product,” she said. “I use it as a strategy to help with my campaigns and as an asset, but don’t rely on it for the whole task.”
Despite AI’s eventual move into the broader adult industry, Tate is confident that her fans will continue to seek genuine interactions with her, whether it’s through direct conversations, live video calls, or in-person appearances.
“If you have a favorite star, support them and interact with them on the different platforms,” she said. “And fight for our cause as well.”
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.