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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Zach Koons

Racing Icon’s Family Wants Legal Action Over Fake AI Interview

The family of legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher plans to take legal action against a German magazine over the publication’s decision to run an AI-generated interview with the seven-time world champion, a spokesperson told ESPN. 

According to ESPN’s Nate Saunders, German magazine Die Aktuelle published a cover that claimed to have an exclusive interview with Schumacher, who has not been seen publicly since December 2013 after suffering serious injuries in a skiing accident. The publication stated that it had “No meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends. But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54!”

However, at the end of the supposed interview, the magazine revealed that the entire article had been written by an AI chatbot, according to Saunders. 

Wertheim: Michael Schumacher Is the GOAT. Michael Schumacher Is Absent.

This isn’t the first time that Schumacher’s family has been at odds with Die Aktuelle, according to ESPN. In 2014, the magazine published a photo of Michael and his wife, Corinna, on the front cover of one of its issues with the headline “Awake.” However, the actual content of the article was about people who have awoken from comas in the past, not about Schumacher. 

The following year the magazine won a legal case initiated by the family after publishing a cover that said a “new love” had entered Corinna’s life. The article inside the issue was about the couple’s daughter, Gina. 

Little is know about Schumacher’s condition following the skiing accident. However, Corinna spoke about her husband’s status at the end of a 2021 Netflix documentary about the world champion’s life and career, emphasizing that the family hoped to keep specifics about Michael private.

“Michael is here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find,” she said. “We’re trying trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives. ‘Private is private,’ as he always said.

“It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”

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