Die Aktuelle, a German tabloid magazine, may face legal action from the family of Michael Schumacher, a Formula 1 racing legend, for publishing an AI-generated “interview” with the star. The magazine recently featured a front cover spread claiming to have an exclusive interview with Schumacher, who suffered a serious brain injury during a skiing accident in December 2013. The family considers this interview to be misleading and false.
According to the translated text on the magazine cover, readers can expect answers directly from Michael Schumacher, who is 54 years old. The only indication that the interview is not genuine is a strapline that describes it as “deceptively real.”
Interestingly, Die Aktuelle humorously questions whether Schumacher answered the questions himself from a hospital bed before revealing that the interview was created by an AI chatbot called Character.ai. The admission of the use of AI chatbots is only made at the end of the article.
Numerous German publications and motorsport journalists have criticized Die Aktuelle for creating responses from “Schumacher” that are insensitive to his recovery after the skiing accident in 2013.
One excerpt from the fabricated interview: “I was so badly injured that I lay for months in a kind of artificial coma because otherwise, my body couldn’t have dealt with it all. I’ve had a tough time, but the hospital team has managed to bring me back to my family.”
The Schumacher family’s representative has confirmed to Reuters and ESPN that they plan to take legal action against the publication. Michael Schumacher, a celebrated Formula 1 driver, holds the record for the most Grand Prix wins and seven world championship titles before retiring in 2012.
Since his skiing accident in 2013, Schumacher has not made any public appearances, and his family has been careful to safeguard his privacy. According to a 2021 Netflix documentary, he currently resides at home with his family, but information about his medical condition remains confidential.
Die Aktuelle has previously faced legal action from the Schumacher family. In 2015, the family filed a lawsuit against the magazine for publishing a cover story that suggested Schumacher’s wife Corinna had discovered a new romantic partner.
The story was later revealed to be about the couple’s daughter. A year earlier, the magazine had published another cover story about individuals who had emerged from comas, using a misleading headline “Awake” alongside a photograph of Michael and Corinna Schumacher. The family had also taken legal action in response to this article.
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