According to the BBC, the chief editor of a German magazine who published an artificial intelligence-generated ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher has been fired. The tabloid Die Aktuelle has also apologized to the family of the legendary Formula One racer.
This offensive and false piece had no business being published, said Bianca Pohlmann, managing director of Funke magazines. She claimed, “It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that our readers expect from a publisher like Funke.”
The release of this piece will have immediate negative effects on personnel, she added. Editor-in-chief of Die Aktuelle Anne Hoffmann, who has been in charge of the publication’s journalism since 2009, will be relieved of their duties as of today.
On the front cover of Die Aktuelle, a smiling photo of the 54-year-old was published on April 15 with the heading, “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.” The subtitle next to the headline said, “It sounded deceptively real.”
The phony interview, which bears the headline “My life has changed completely,” appears on page eight of the publication. It contains made-up remarks that Mr. Schumacher is said to have spoken about his family life following the accident and his health. However, it becomes clear later in the piece that the interview was generated by AI.
The Schumacher family has made it known that they want to sue the German publication. Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has not been seen in public since sustaining a brain injury in a skiing accident in December of 2013.