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Formula 1

Editor sacked and apology issued over Schumacher ‘AI interview’

by Josh Suttill
1 min read

The editor responsible for presenting an artificial intelligence-generated article as an interview with seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, has been sacked with the publication offering an apology to Schumacher’s family.

It comes days after it was reported that the Schumacher family is considering legal action against the German magazine that published a piece claiming to be “the first” interview with Schumacher since his 2013 skiing accident.

Plans for action against Die Aktuelle, a weekly German gossip magazine, were confirmed by the family to ESPN.

Die Aktuelle featured a photo of Schumacher with the headline “the first interview” and accompanying strapline of “it sounds deceptively real”.

An apology has been posted on the website of Die Aktuelle’s parent company Funke media group along with the notification that editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann has been sacked in response.

“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,” said Funke magazines managing director Bianca Pohlmann according to Reuters.

“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.”

Schumacher suffered a severe brain injury during a skiing accident in 2013 that left him in a medically-induced coma for six months.

He hasn’t been seen in public since and his family have strictly maintained his privacy offering only occasional updates, including in the 2021 Netflix documentary Schumacher.

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