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Schumacher family to sue magazine over AI-generated interview

Germany’s Die Aktuelle ran a front-page fake conversation with the Formula One legend

Michael Schumacher’s family is planning legal action against a German weekly for running a fake interview with the racing star, a spokesperson for the family told ESPN.

German outlet Die Aktuelle recently ran a front page cover spread depicting a smiling Schumacher and claiming to have obtained an exclusive “first interview” with the racer, who has not been seen in public ever since he suffered a serious brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013. 

The interview, which at first glance could be mistaken as genuine, included quotes such as “my life has completely changed since [the accident]” and “I was so badly injured that I lay for months in a kind of artificial coma.” However, at the conclusion of the piece it was revealed that all of Schumacher’s answers had in fact been generated by an AI chatbot.

As noted by ESPN, the outlet has had a number of run-ins with the Schumacher family over the years. In 2014, Die Aktuelle posted a picture of the driver and his wife Corinna with the caption “awake,” only to feature an unrelated article about people who have awakened from comas in the past. A year later, the magazine won a legal case with the family over publishing a front cover claiming that “a new love” had entered Corrina’s life. The article was actually about the couple’s daughter, Gina.

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The seven-time F1 champion’s family has insisted on keeping his personal life private and has not revealed his current medical condition. His current whereabouts are also unknown, although it is believed that he is residing at the family’s home in Switzerland.

“Michael is here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find,” Corinna Schumacher said in a 2021 Netflix documentary about the athlete’s career. She added that “Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”

“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 to simply make him feel our family, our bond,” she said.

Schumacher’s son, Mick, is now also a F1 driver and raced for the Haas team in 2021 and 2022. He is also the reserve driver for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

April 21, 2023 at 12:53AM

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