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German magazine apologizes to Schumacher family, sacks editor

Former Ferrari F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher of Germany.

Mark Thompson | Getty Photos Sport | Getty Photos

The publishers of a German journal that ran an ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher generated by synthetic intelligence have sacked the editor and apologized to the Formulation One nice’s household.

Seven-times world champion Schumacher, now 54, has not been seen in public since he suffered a critical mind harm in a snowboarding accident on a household vacation within the French Alps in December 2013.

His household mentioned this week that they had been planning authorized motion in opposition to weekly journal Die Aktuelle, owned by the Essen-based Funke media group.

Funke apologized in a press release on their web site

“This tasteless and deceptive article ought to by no means have appeared. It by no means meets the requirements of journalism that we – and our readers – anticipate from a writer like Funke,” mentioned Funke magazines managing director Bianca Pohlmann.

“Because of the publication of this text, rapid personnel penalties will likely be drawn.

“Die Aktuelle editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann, who has held journalistic accountability for the paper since 2009, will likely be relieved of her duties as of right this moment.”

The newest version of Die Aktuelle ran a entrance cowl with an image of a smiling Schumacher and the headline promising ‘Michael Schumacher, the primary interview’. The strapline added: “it sounded deceptively actual”.

Inside, it emerged that the ‘quotes’ had been produced by AI.

Schumacher’s household maintains strict privateness concerning the former driver’s situation, with entry restricted to these closest to him.

“We stay collectively at residence. We do remedy. We do every part we are able to to make Michael higher and to verify he is snug, and to easily make him really feel our household, our bond,” Corinna Schumacher mentioned in a 2021 Netflix documentary.

“We’re making an attempt to hold on as a household, the best way Michael appreciated it and nonetheless does. And we’re getting on with our lives.”