Can Artificial Intelligence Break Your Porn Habit? Lamar Odom Thinks So

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom is now Covenant Eyes’ most prominent (well, only) celebrity endorser. Mary Clavering/Young Hollywood/Getty Images

Because the internet is everything, everywhere, at all times—and the internet is us—the internet is rife with bad takes, worse advice and porn. About 10% of online content is naughty and dirty stuff, according to neuroscientists who have studied this, with “research” for Mia Khalifa and the like comprising as much as 15% of Google searches.

You could say that the internet’s thriving and lurid red-light district is simply the market at work. But if you were a social conservative, you might also say that the market-driven internet is a snake pit waiting to snare the righteous—so obviously, artificial intelligence (AI) is the solution needed to help humans quit looking at porn.

SEE ALSO: Sex Workers Are at the Forefront of the Fight Against Mass Surveillance

Parental controls or other internet locks are almost as old as the internet itself (as are the various ways in which a determined user can figure out a way around them). But what if you’re a parent yourself, and you just can’t quit PornHub? Roll Call ran a recent item about a growing, evangelical-inspired “purity-industrial complex” in which eager entrepreneurs and programmers are rolling out AI-powered purity solutions.

The apparent leader in this space is called Covenant Eyes, which earlier this year released new software designed by a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), which, until recently, as Edward Snowden revealed, had to the power to know exactly when you were looking at porn.

For $15.99 a month, users—however unwilling—will have their mobile phone activity occasionally screenshotted. The app then uses AI to “analyze those screenshots,” including “rating” them for dirtiness. Then—best of all—the app rats you out to “allies,” who receive a report of your internet habits, as well as any “concerning activity” and attempts to beat your very own sexy-time hall monitor.

“The software sees the screen just as you see it,” Michael Holm, Covenant Eyes’ chief data scientist, told The Christian Post in a recent interview. “The battleground has moved from the heavily-hampered world of network text-parsing right up to the visual input to your eye.”

If it sounds horrible and horribly intrusive, well, talk to a porn addict. Like Lamar Odom!

The two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers is probably most famous for being married to Khloé Kardashian, a union that dissolved over, among other things, Odom’s self-admitted runaway porn habit. Odom is now Covenant Eyes’ most prominent (well, only) celebrity endorser.

He claims that kicking drugs was easier than kicking porn, and also claims to have installed Covenant Eyes on his phone earlier this year in order to get a handle on things, as per an interview (and Covenant Eyes soft advertorial) in The Christian Post.

It also bears mentioning that according to researchers, porn addiction isn’t a thing. The malady is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—and researchers maintain that drug and alcohol addictions work on the brain differently than a perceived dependence on porn. So while users may feel hooked or helpless in the same way a gambling addict or alcoholic might, the brain mechanics are different and require different treatment.

That’s where Covenant Eyes has value, although the value is the human element, not the AI learning, which merely flags the content. The difficult work is outsourced to people. You can still try to look at porn, and you may succeed—but when you do, you have to confront the “ally” to whom the software reports your Google searches.

Through that peer counseling, then, the work to address the uncontrollable urge may be done. Of course, there is a chance that the AI might not work well, or flag, say, an item about Donald Trump’s love life as questionable content.

According to RollCall, Covenant Eyes has about 300,000 current users, good for annual revenues of $57 million.

Can Artificial Intelligence Break Your Porn Habit? Lamar Odom Thinks So