‘What Jennifer Did’ producer denies use of AI-generated images of Jennifer Pan

‘What Jennifer Did’ producer denies use of AI-generated images of Jennifer Pan‘What Jennifer Did’ producer denies use of AI-generated images of Jennifer Pan
via Netflix
The executive producer of “What Jennifer Did” has denied using artificial intelligence (AI) to alter images in the Netflix documentary.
Key points:
  • Futurism reported this week that that the true-crime show used what appears to be AI-generated images of murder convict Jennifer Pan.
  • The images, which appear around the 28-minute mark of the documentary, show physical deformities, particularly in Pan’s hands.
  • Distortions in portrayals of human hands are a common issue with AI image generation.
  • Critics condemn the use of AI-generated images in a true-crime documentary. 
Catch up:
  • In 2010, Pan was convicted of hiring hitmen to murder her parents. Her story and the subsequent trial have been widely covered.
The details:
  • Suspect images in the documentary show Pan with missing fingers, distorted facial features and a misshapen ear. 
  • Executive producer Jeremy Grimaldi told the Toronto Star that the images are authentic. “The photos of Jennifer are real photos of her,” he was quoted saying. “The foreground is exactly her. The background has been anonymized to protect the source.”
  • Critics aren’t buying Grimaldi’s explanation as he did not address the visual anomalies commonly associated with AI-generated images.
  • The possible use of AI in the show raises significant ethical concerns about distorting the historical record in a true-crime documentary. Groups like the Archival Producers Alliance are drafting guidelines addressing the use of “fake archival” images generated by AI. The first draft of the APA guidelines, presented on April 16, emphasize using primary sources, transparency about AI use and careful consideration of algorithmic bias.
  • Netflix has yet to respond to the issue, as of this writing.
  • AI is increasingly used in films and TV, but experts warn that ethical application needs careful consideration, especially within the documentary genre.
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