Editor Is Sacked After Publishing Michael Schumacher Fake Interview In German Magazine

Editor Is Sacked After Publishing Michael Schumacher Fake Interview In German Magazine

April 24, 2023

The editor of a German magazine that ran an “interview” with former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher – including quotes generated by artificial intelligence – has been sacked.

The publishers of Die Aktuelle, a weekly magazine owned by Funke media group – have also apologised to Schumacher’s family, who said this week they planned legal action. 

Funke managing director Bianca Pohlmann announced: “This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we and our readers expect from a publisher like Funke.

“As a result of the publication of this article, immediate personnel consequences will be drawn. Die Aktuelle editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann, who has held journalistic responsibility for the paper since 2009, will be relieved of her duties as of today.”

The magazine ran a front cover of Schumacher, with a headline that read, “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.” The strapline added: “it sounded deceptively real.” Only inside the pages of the magazine did it emerge the quotes attributed to the former racing champion had been generated by artificial intelligence. 

Schumacher suffered a brain injury in December 2013 while skiing. He has not been seen in public since then, with his family taking measures to protect his privacy. 

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