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The truth behind Michael Schumacher’s “tasteless” AI-generated interview

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German magazine Die Aktuelle has come under heavy criticism for publishing a fabricated interview with F1 icon Michael Schumacher, in which an AI-generated version of an interview with him was used.

The magazine’s front cover showcased a photo of a grinning Schumacher and advertised the interview as his “first exclusive” since his tragic skiing accident ten years ago. The publication has been denounced as “tasteless” for resorting to an AI program to produce the fabricated interview.

The German magazine did not disclose that the interview was AI generated within the article itself and only acknowledged it in the body text of the double-page spread. The article, titled “My life has completely changed,” opens with the sentence: “The chance to talk to him once. To ask him how he’s really doing.”

The article goes on to claim that it is not a story based on “half-sentences from friends,” but instead is “the incredible interview” with the F1 legend that provides “redeeming answers to the most burning questions that the whole world has been asking for so long.” The remainder of the piece takes the form of a Q&A, with the AI purportedly providing the answers that Michael Schumacher would give.

The AI discusses a range of topics, including Michael’s physical state, family, and future. When asked about how his life has been since the accident, the AI responded with the following: “My life changed completely after that. It was a horrible time for my wife, children, and the entire family. I myself was injured so badly that I was in an artificial coma for months because my body couldn’t have endured it all anymore.”

The article ends with the anonymous author stating that if they had been able to converse with Michael in person, it would have been a “true miracle.”

However, the piece was not warmly received by the driver’s supporters, who labeled it as “stupid” and “tasteless.” Since his medically induced coma in 2013, very little information has been made available about Michael’s health, who is at his home in Geneva, Switzerland.

It is believed that the F1 legend’s family will be taking legal action against Die Aktuelle. However, this isn’t the first time the German publication has used the Schumacher family to generate public interest.

In 2014, the magazine published a front-page photograph of Michael and his wife, Corinna, along with the headline “Awake,” which was misleading as the article was actually about individuals who had awakened from comas in the past. The magazine also won a lawsuit against the Schumacher family the following year after it ran a cover story titled “A new love,” which insinuated that Corinna had found a new romantic partner when in reality, the article was about their daughter, Gina.


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