The editor-in-chief of a German magazine that published an artificial intelligence-generated ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher has been sacked, BBC reported. The tabloid named Die Aktuelle has also apologised to the family of the Formula One legend.
”This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that we and our readers expect from a publisher like Funke,” said Bianca Pohlmann, managing director of Funke magazines.
”As a result of the publication of this article, immediate personnel consequences will be drawn. Die Aktuelle editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann, who has held journalistic responsibility for the paper since 2009, will be relieved of her duties as of today,” she added.
On April 15, Die Aktuelle published a smiling picture of the 54-year-old on the front cover with the headline: “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.” Paired with the headline was a subheading that read: “It sounded deceptively real.”
The fake interview appears on page eight of the magazine with the headline, “My life has changed completely,” and includes fictitious quotes attributed to Mr Schumacher, discussing his family life since the accident and his medical condition. However, towards the article, it becomes apparent that the interview was produced by AI.
A few days back, the Schumacher family confirmed that it plans to take legal action against the German magazine.
Since suffering a head injury in a skiing accident in December 2013, seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has not been spotted in public. Reports suggest Schumacher has memory, movement and speech problems and is being cared for at home near Geneva.
In a 2021 Netflix documentary, Mr Schumacher’s wife Corinna said: “We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable, and simply make him feel our family, our bond. We’re trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives.”
Mr Schumacher retired from F1 in 2012 after three seasons with Mercedes and was replaced on the team by Lewis Hamilton.