First we had influencers, then we had AI influencers and now we have a virtual porn influencer.
YouPorn hopes that Jedy will be for the porn world what Lil Miquela is for the fashion world - basically a "sentient robot" capable of interacting with social media users and posting (presumably) risque Instagram posts.
Jedy's brunette and busty appearance was created by the erotic virtual reality company Camasutra VR, which is based in LA. The porn industry has found it difficult to navigate the social media landscape- unsurprisingly, considering breast feeding pictures are considered indecent content under Instagram's image regulations - but YouPorn believe Jedy will help them form a social media presence.
"As a leader in the adult entertainment industry, we’ve struggled to find a proper way to interact and share with our users through means like Twitter and Instagram, where we get shadow banned or our accounts are deleted," commented YouPorn chairman Charlie Hughes. "With Jedy, not only are we able to put a new face to our brand, we are now able to have intimate interactions with our users in a totally new way. In our eyes, Jedy is also seen as an important early step in the next phase of technology working with humans, instead of working to replace humans and human sexuality."
It's unclear what these "intimate interactions" entail but in her first Instagram video post, Jedy says: “I know that many of YouPorn’s users are also huge fans and users of social media. Well, me too! That’s why I’m so excited to join the team and share my digital experience with the community.
“It’s fun to share information about my favourite porn site and little peeks into my life with the YouPorn community. I am looking forward to becoming their go-to source for providing fun and entertaining updates while being an active part of the future of porn!”
YouPorn has set a target of 1 million followers for its AI Brand Ambassador, and so far Jedy Vales' Instagram account has amassed 2,250 in two days. YouPorn's AI creation joins a growing community of virtual "influencers" including Noonoouri — a Bratz doll lookalike who wears real designer clothes, Shudu the first digital supermodel and Lil Miquela, a virtual fashion Influencer with over 1.5 million Instagram followers.
There are big questions surrounding the social ramifications of AI influencers in general, let alone pornographic ones, but Hughes argues the company is acting responsibly.
"YouPorn doesn’t claim to know the answers to all of the questions about what AI means for humanity, but it's clear virtual influencers today, mirror where we are as a society," he said.
"YouPorn wants to move responsibly with AI technologies within our industry, and understands the importance of thinking critically about the impact our decisions have. Being intentional and not re-creating already existing human made issues is a part of this, this doesn’t mean there won’t be misjudgments, but we are after all, only human."
While the ethics of AI influencers is still up for debate, creating hyper-sexualised content on Instagram - a platform saturated with underage and impressionable users, particularly in light of the recent porn ban - is undoubtedly worrying.