After publishing seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher’s AI-generated interview, German Magazine Die Aktuelle has issued an apology for their actions and also sacked the editor behind the story. After the news broke regarding the interview, the Schumacher family confirmed it was planning to take legal action against the German magazine.
But since then the publisher of the magazine, Funke media group, issued a statement penned by the managing director Bianca Pohlmann. The apology stated that this kind of interview doesn’t follow their standards of journalism and confirmed that the Die Aktuelle editor-in-chief Anne Hoffman has been sacked.
'This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that we and our readers expect from a publisher like Funke," said Bianca Pohlmann in the statement.
''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,'' she added.
Talking about the interview, the magazine printed a photo of the 54-year-old Schumacher on the front page last weekend while stating “Michael Schumacher, the first interview!” The magazine also wrote “it sounds deceptively real” with the supposed AI-generated quotes attributed to Schumacher. Die Aktuelle is one of many tabloid celebrity magazines in Germany.
Schumacher ended his F1 career in 2012 after three seasons with Mercedes and was replaced on the team by Lewis Hamilton. Schumacher started his F1 career in 1991 and has since gone on to win record-seven world titles, a feat only levelled by Hamilton. In these 21 years, the German legend drove for teams Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, and Mercedes.
Then in December 2013, while skiing in the French Alps at Meribel, Schumacher fell and suffered a near-fatal brain injury as his head hit a rock, and split open his helmet. Doctors managed to remove a few blood clots but couldn’t remove all as they were too deeply embedded in his brain. Since then he has been transferred from the hospital to a family home in Switzerland in September 2014, where the seven-time champion continues to remain under treatment.