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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Editor Fired by German Magazine for AI-Generated ‘Interview’ with Michael Schumacher

The publishers of a German magazine, Die Aktuelle, which recently published an AI-generated ‘interview’ with the retired Formula One great Michael Schumacher, have taken action following a strong backlash from the public and the Schumacher family. The seven-time world champion has not been seen in public since he suffered a serious brain injury during a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013.

The funke media group, the owners of Die Aktuelle, have issued a public apology on their website, stating that the article in question did not meet the standards of journalism that their readers and the publisher expect. The statement further disclosed that the editor-in-chief, Anne Hoffmann, who has held the journalistic responsibility for the paper since 2009, has been relieved of her duties as of the day of the statement.

The latest edition of Die Aktuelle had a front cover featuring a picture of Schumacher with a headline promising “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.” However, upon reading the article, it became apparent that the ‘quotes’ were generated by AI and not by Schumacher himself.

The Schumacher family, who maintain strict privacy about the former driver’s condition, have publicly denounced the article and have reportedly planned legal action against the magazine. In a 2021 Netflix documentary, Corinna Schumacher, Michael’s wife, spoke about their family’s efforts to support Michael’s rehabilitation and maintain their privacy.

The incident has sparked a renewed debate about the ethical use of AI-generated content in journalism and the potential risks of using such technology to create content that misleads and misinforms the public.

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