Science & Tech

AI mocked as it ‘unveils’ Jack the Ripper’s face

AI mocked as it ‘unveils’ Jack the Ripper’s face

Related video: The identity of Jack the Ripper


It remains one of the most mysterious cases in British criminal history, but the increasingly troubling technology that is artificial intelligence (AI) has shared its impression of what the Victorian serial killer known as Jack the Ripper may have looked like, but Twitter/X users aren’t really buying it.

The murderer, who was never identified or apprehended by police, is associated with the “canonical five” killings of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, who were attacked in Whitechapel between August and November of 1888.

His true identity has long been subject to speculation and analysis. Back in 2014, a book claimed the killer was a 23-year-old Polish barber called Aaron Kosminski. In 2022, a cane resurfaced which reportedly features the face of the criminal.

A year later, an ex-police volunteer whose grandfather worked on the Ripper investigation made the case for the murderer being Hyam Hyams, a cigar maker.

Needless to say, there remains little consensus on exactly who the Ripper was.

But seeing as we’re now in the age where AI can accidentally invent an unknown fifth member of pop group The Beatles, of course it wasn’t going to be long before it was given the prompt to create the face of Jack the Ripper.

And when the New York Post shared the results on Saturday, Twitter/X users soon ridiculed the outlet’s description of the art (they legitimately said “there’s a new-old serial hottie in town” – yes, really), and the art itself:

Even the Community Note on the Posts tweet rubbished the impression, writing: “Saying ‘finally revealed’ is a stretch. This is not his face, and presenting AI photos as a fact is harmful.

“We do not know what Jack the Ripper looks like – he has only been described by an eyewitness as ‘a fair-haired man of medium build with a shabby appearance.”

Others made the important point that we really shouldn’t be glamourising and sensationalising one of the most horrific murderers in history:

Just another reason to be just a little bit alarmed by the rise of AI – you’re welcome.

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