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Magazine’s chief editor fired over AI-generated piece

Earlier this week, German weekly ‘Die Aktuelle’ published an interview purporting to be with renowned racer Michael Schumacher

Reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) has cost the chief editor of Germany’s ‘Die Aktuelle’ magazine her job. A scandal erupted when it transpired that an interview with one-time Formula One racing star driver Michael Schumacher, published earlier this week, had been fabricated with the help of technology.

The Funke media group that owns the magazine issued a statement late on Friday apologizing to the family of the racer, who has been out of the public domain ever since he sustained a severe brain injury in a skiing accident in late 2013.

“This tasteless and misleading article should not have appeared. It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke,” CEO Bianca Pohlmann wrote.

She added that the company had parted ways with ‘Die Aktuelle’ chief editor Anne Hoffmann “with immediate effect.”

This week’s edition of the magazine had Schumacher’s photo on its cover with an inscription reading “Michael Schumacher: The first interview!” Below, in smaller print, the outlet warned that “it sounds deceptively true.”

READ MORE: Schumacher family to sue magazine over AI-generated interview

It is only in the article itself that ‘Die Aktuelle’ clarifies that the piece had been taken from a website “that has to do with artificial intelligence, abbreviated as AI.”

Schumacher’s family has told news agency DPA that it is planning to take legal action in light of the publication.

April 22, 2023 at 09:38PM

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