AP Photo/Ben Curtis, Files
The family of Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is going to take legal action against a German tabloid magazine for running an AI-generated interview with him.
Per ESPN’s Nate Saunders, the Die Aktuelle publication promised an exclusive interview with Schumacher for the first time since he suffered a serious brain injury in a December 2013 skiing accident.
“No meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends. But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54,” the magazine stated.
According to Saunders, the magazine revealed at the end of the interview the article was generated by an artificial intelligence chatbot.
A spokesperson for the Schumacher family confirmed to Saunders that they intend to take legal action against the publication.
Saunders noted this isn’t the first time Die Aktuelle has exploited the Schumacher family to generate interest in its magazine:
“In 2014, the magazine posted a picture of Michael and his wife Corinna on the front cover, with the headline ‘Awake’, only for the piece in question to have been about people who have been awake from comas in the past.
“The magazine also won a legal case against the following year of Schumachers after a front cover saying ‘a new love’ had entered Corinna’s life, only for the article to be about the couple’s daughter Gina.”
Schumacher was on a skiing trip with his son when he fell and hit his head on a rock. He was placed in a medically induced coma for a period of time after doctors found he had suffered a cerebral contusion and edema when they were operating on him.
Corinna Schumacher, Michael’s wife, has provided occasional updates about his condition over the years, but the family has otherwise maintained a low profile since the accident.
Michael Schumacher began his Formula One career in 1991. He retired in 2006 because of neck injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash, but he returned for two years from 2010-12.
At the time he retired in 2012, Schumacher was F1’s all-time leader with 91 race wins. Lewis Hamilton surpassed him with his 92nd victory in October 2020.
Schumacher and Hamilton are tied for the most F1 world championships with seven.