The German magazine that published an ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher generated by artificial intelligence has fired the editor and apologiezd to the family’s legendary Formula One driver.
Schumacher, aged 54, has not been seen in public since sustaining major brain damage in a skiing accident on a family vacation in the French Alps in December 2013.
His family announced this week that they were preparing legal action against the Essen Funke media group’s weekly magazine Die Aktuelle.
Funke issued an apology on their website, www.funkemedien.de.
“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke,” said Bianca Pohlmann, managing director of Funke publications.
“As a result of the publication of this article, there will be immediate personnel consequences.”
“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.”
The newest issue of Die Aktuelle had a front cover featuring a smiling Schumacher and the headline ‘Michael Schumacher, the first interview’.
“It sounded deceptively real,” the strapline added.
Inside, it was shown that the ‘quotes’ were generated by AI.
Schumacher’s family maintains strict confidentiality concerning the former driver’s condition, with only those closest to him having access.