documentary What Jennifer Did hit with AI photo scandal: Show includes ... trends now

documentary What Jennifer Did hit with AI photo scandal: Show includes ... trends now
Netflix documentary What Jennifer Did hit with AI photo scandal: Show includes ... trends now

Netflix documentary What Jennifer Did hit with AI photo scandal: Show includes ... trends now

Netflix documentary What Jennifer Did appears to have used AI-generated or manipulated images of the killer daughter.

Jennifer Pan, then 24, paid two hitmen $10,000 to sneak into her family home in Toronto and murder her mother Bich Ha and father Huei Hann in November 2010.

Her father survived the fake home invasion and fled to a neighbor's house, triggering a police investigation that exposed her crimes.

Pan was jailed for life with parole after 25 years, but her murder conviction, and those of the hitmen, was quashed and she faces a retrial.

Her story is now being retold in the popular Netflix series - but fans and internet sleuths have honed in a problematic image that's included.  

Other issues with the photo include her nose appearing to lack nostrils, her left cheek looking fake, her shoulder being out of place, bizarre folds around her armpit, and items in the background looking like they don't belong

Other issues with the photo include her nose appearing to lack nostrils, her left cheek looking fake, her shoulder being out of place, bizarre folds around her armpit, and items in the background looking like they don't belong

One of the photos even appears on promotions for the documentary as one half of a split screen between a happy, smiling Pan and her mugshot

The documentary shows three photos of Pan in a red dress looking excited and having a good time at a party or celebration.

But little more than a cursory glance reveals odd features in the images, many of which are classic signs of the use of AI.

It's unclear who was behind the image. Netflix is yet to address the claims.  

Nowhere in the documentary, even the fine print of the credits, is the use of AI disclosed.

One of the photos even appears on promotions for the documentary as one half of a split screen between a happy, smiling Pan and her mugshot.

Presented in this way, her misshapen, unnaturally long front tooth is so glaringly obvious that once you spot it, it is all you see.

Pan's ears also look oddly shaped and her earrings don't match.

Pan in another photo has her mouth open excitedly and is flashing two V for victory signs with her hands - only drawing attention to another glaring error.

AI has notorious problems creating hands, often missing fingers or making the hands look more like claws than human.

Pan's left hand looks particularly deformed in the photo, with only the two fingers sticking up looking like they are real and the rest missing or blending with the hand.

Her right hand is believable at a glance, but her little finger is mangled and there is an unrealistic fold down the middle of her palm.

Her misshapen, unnaturally long front tooth is so glaringly obvious that once you spot it, it is all you see. Pan's ears also look oddly shaped and her earrings don't match

Her misshapen, unnaturally long front tooth is so glaringly obvious that once you spot it, it is all you see. Pan's ears also look oddly shaped and her earrings don't match

Her mother Bich Ha and father Huei Hann, who had arrived in Toronto as refugees from Vietnam, eventually confronted her before Jennifer plotted to have them killed in a fake home invasion

Her mother Bich Ha and father Huei Hann, who had arrived in Toronto as refugees from Vietnam, eventually confronted her before Jennifer plotted to have them killed in a fake home invasion 

Other issues with the photo include her nose appearing to lack nostrils, her left cheek looking fake, her shoulder being out of place, bizarre folds around her armpit, and items in the background looking like they don't belong. 

A third photo of Pan sticking out her tongue has fewer signs of AI, but isn't perfect either.

Whether the images were generated from scratch using other photos of Pan as a guide, or only manipulated with AI, is not yet known.

One photographer theorized that the images were based on real photos, but were altered with AI to make them clear enough for TV.

'I suspect documentary makers may have attempted to enhance old low-resolution images using AI-powered upscaling or photo restoration software to try to make them look clearer on a TV screen,' he wrote for Creative Bloq

'The problem is that even the best AI software can only take a poor quality images so far, and such programs tend to over sharpen certain lines, resulting in strange artifacts.'

A third photo of Pan sticking out her tongue has fewer signs of AI, but isn't perfect either

A third photo of Pan sticking out her tongue has fewer signs of AI, but isn't perfect either

Netflix is yet to comment but one of the producers, Jeremy Grimaldi, denied the documentary used AI to edit the photos.

'Any filmmaker will use different tools, like Photoshop, in films,' he told the Toronto Star.

'The photos of Jennifer are real photos of her. The foreground is exactly her. The background has been anonymized to protect the source.' 

However, tech publication Futurism was not convinced by his explanation as the classic AI errors extended beyond the background.

'Grimaldi's comments are extremely vague on a core point: exactly what 'photo editing software' did the team use to "anonymize" the images, and did they involve AI?' it wrote.

'When he says the foreground is "exactly her", does that include her mangled fingers and teeth?'

Jennifer Pan, who lived in the upscale neighborhood of Markham, Canada, had spent nearly a decade weaving a web of lies to cover up her falling grades and forbidden romance - until her parents began to untangle the truth

Jennifer Pan, who lived in the upscale neighborhood of Markham, Canada, had spent nearly a decade weaving a web of lies to cover up her falling grades and forbidden romance - until her parents began to untangle the truth

What did Jennifer Pan do?

Jennifer, who was a first-generation Canadian, had excelled both as a student and as an ice skater in her formative years, according to school friends who previously spoke to Toronto Life.

However, she later stopped dedicating herself to her studies when she was 'snubbed' for a valedictorian award for her eighth grade class.

Her grades began to slide to the point where she was averaging 70 per cent in all of her classes except music by the first year of high school - but she kept her parents in the dark.

Karen Ho, who went to the same elementary school as Jennifer, told the outlet that Hann was the 'classic tiger dad' who gave up everything to move to the US and labored at a tool manufacturing job so that his two children could have a better life.

Like many immigrant parents, he expected his children to perform at the top of their class so that they could get into the best colleges that would lead them to high-paid careers. 

Afraid for her parents to find out that she was slipping, Jennifer decided to forge her report cards to show straight As using old progress reports, scissors, glue and a copy machine.

For the most part, Jennifer was actually getting Bs which was 'respectable for most kids but unacceptable in her strict household,' according to Ho. 

Her grades were good enough to get her into Ryerson University on early admission, and she told her parents that she would spend two years there studying science before transferring to the more prestigious University of Toronto to study pharmacology like her father had always wanted.

The then 24-year-old shelled out $10,000 for assailants to enter the family home (pictured) and shoot her parents in the head - but miraculously her father survived

The then 24-year-old shelled out $10,000 for assailants to enter the family home (pictured) and shoot her parents in the head - but miraculously her father survived

However, in her last semester Jennifer failed calculus, which kept her from graduating and Ryerson withdrew their admission offer. 

Instead of fessing up, the student continued to go about as if nothing was wrong. She accepted her father's offer of a new laptop, started buying used biology and physics textbooks and even pretended to attend freshman week in September.

As for questions about how she was paying for college, Jennifer doctored papers saying she had received a loan and told her parents she had won a $3,000 scholarship. 

When classes started, Jennifer took public transport downtown every day, where instead of attending lectures, she would go to public libraries and take notes on topics she thought she would be learning in her first-year science classes. 

And it was a pretense that Jennifer kept up for two whole years.

Her father started asking about transferring to the University of Toronto and she again fed her parents a lie by saying she had been accepted.

She convinced them to let her stay with a friend downtown a few days of the week when in fact she was living at her high school sweetheart's house. 

Another two years passed, and it was time for Jennifer to 'graduate' from University of Toronto. 

This time, she and boyfriend Daniel Wong found someone to forge a straight-A college transcript. 

She then told her parents that because of over-crowding at the school, each student was only allowed one guest at graduation, so she gave her ticket to a friend, not wanting to make one of her parents feel left out.

But her near-decade of deceit eventually came crashing down when she told her parents that she had gotten a volunteer job working in the blood-testing lab at SickKids hospital.

The intruders dragged Hann out of his room and down into the living room, while pretending to be staging a home invasion by tying Jennifer's hands to a bannister

The intruders dragged Hann out of his room and down into the living room, while pretending to be staging a home invasion by tying Jennifer's hands to a bannister

The group stole some money hidden around the home and then led the parents to the basement where each was shot multiple times

The group stole some money hidden around the home and then led the parents to the basement where each was shot multiple times

Her father grew suspicious after he noticed she had neither a uniform nor a key card to get into the building.

Hann decided to take matters into his own hands and one day insisted on dropping her off at work before having his wife tail Jennifer inside the hospital where she was nowhere to be found. 

The next morning, he then called the friend that Jennifer was

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