The editor of a German magazine who published what he described as a “world sensation” interview with retired Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher but used answers written by artificial intelligence, fired the magazine editor and apologized to Schumacher’s family. Schumacher.
Schumacher, 54, withdrew from public life after suffering a brain injury in a skiing accident nearly a decade ago, and his family has fiercely protected his privacy ever since. The cover of the April 15 issue of the celebrity magazine Die Aktuelle promoted the interview with Mr. Schumacher, who is German, as the first since the accident: “das erste interview”.
The cover featured the words “Sounds deceptively real”, hinting that the interview might not be what it seemed.
inside the magazine, quotes from Mr. Schumacher about his family and his health appeared along with photos of him smiling and photos of his children. The article explained that all the quotes attributed to Mr. Schumacher had been generated by artificial intelligence.
Mr Schumacher’s family has been known to maintain privacy about his health since he hit his head on a rock while skiing in Méribel, a resort in the French Alps, in December 2013. Doctors said at the time that his condition was serious and that he was “fighting for his life”. Few details about his health have emerged since then.
Sabine Kehm, a spokeswoman for Schumacher’s family, said in an email Monday that the family planned to take legal action against Die Aktuelle.
Funke Media Group, which publishes Die Aktuelle, apologized to the family in a statement on Friday and said that the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anne Hoffmann, had been fired because of the article. She has run the magazine since 2009, according to the statement. Reports that Mr. Schumacher’s family was planning to take legal action first appeared before Ms. Hoffmann was released.
“This vulgar and misleading article should never have been published,” Funke Media Group CEO Bianca Pohlmann said in an emailed statement, adding that it did not meet the company’s journalistic standards “in any shape, form that we and our readers expect. from a publisher like Funke”.
When Mr. Schumacher retired in 2012, he was the most successful Formula 1 driver in history. He won the world championship a record seven times and won a record 91 Grand Prix races.
These feats have only been matched by Lewis Hamilton, the British driver who tied Mr. Schumacher’s record of seven championships in 2020. That same year, Mr. Hamilton surpassed Mr. Schumacher’s Grand Prix record, winning a total of of 103 runs.
Mr. Schumacher’s son, Mick Schumacher, He is also a Formula 1 driver.serving as reserve driver for Mr. Hamilton’s Mercedes team after two seasons with the Haas team.
Little information has been made public about Michael Schumacher’s life after the skiing accident. His family said in September 2014 that he had been transferred from a hospital to the family estate in Gland, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
His wife, Corinna Schumacher, said in the 2021 documentary “Schumacher” that “everyone misses Michael, but Michael is here.”
“Different, but he is here, and I think that gives us strength,” he said.
“We are together, we live together at home,” said Ms Schumacher. “We do therapy, we do everything we can to get Michael better and make sure he’s comfortable, and just make him feel like our family, our bond.”