The family of Michael Schumacher is expected to take legal action against a German magazine that published an AI-generated ‘interview’ with the Formula 1 legend.
The German weekly magazine, Die Aktuelle, published a front cover spread with the headline “Michael Schumacher, the first interview” alongside a smiling picture of the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion.
A spokesperson for the Schumacher family confirmed to the broadcaster ESPN that legal action will now be taken.
The magazine claimed the interview to be “no meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends. But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54!”
It was only after the interview that it was revealed that the answers had been generated by an AI chatbot.
Schumacher has not been seen publicly since a skiing accident in December 2013 and his family have gone to extensive effort to protect his privacy.
Die Aktuelle and the Schumacher family have a history of conflict. In 2014 the magazine posted a picture of Michael and his wife Corinna Schumacher on the front cover with the headline “Awake” for it to be revealed that the story was about other people who had awoken from comas in the past.
The magazine was successful in a legal battle against the Schumachers the following year, regarding a front cover that suggested a “new love” had entered Corinna’s life. However, the article was actually about their daughter Gina.
Corina Schumacher has spoken minimally about her husband’s condition in a recent Netflix documentary, ‘Schumacher’, saying: “Michael is here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find.”
“We’re together. We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable. And to simply make him feel our family, our bond. And no matter what, I will do everything I can. We all will.
“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.”