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Magazine editor sacked over AI Schumacher 'interview'

Publishers of a German magazine that released an AI-generated interview with seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher have sacked the editor and issued an apology.

Michael Schumacher with his wife Corinna

Last week, the magazine Die Aktuelle featured a story claiming to be Schumacher's first interview since his 2013 skiing accident.

The magazine's front cover featured a picture of a smiling Schumacher promising a "first interview". Inside it went on to present a story with mock quotes generated by AI technology, with the tagline "it sounded deceptively real".

The jarring piece upset the Schumacher family, which threatened to take legal action against Die Aktuelle, a weekly magazine published by the Funke media group.

The publishers have now responded by removing editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann from her position and issuing an apology to the Schumacher family.

"This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared," Funke managing director Bianca Pohlmann wrote in a statement.

"It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we and our readers expect from a publisher like Funke.

"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."

Corinna Schumacher and Gina-Maria Schumacher celebrating the F2 win of Mick Schumacher

Corinna Schumacher and Gina-Maria Schumacher celebrating the F2 win of Mick Schumacher

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Schumacher family has maintained a strict privacy policy since Schumacher's accident while skiing in the French Alps in 2013, in which he suffered a severe brain injury.

The seven-time world champion, now 54, continues to recover from the accident at home in Switzerland and hasn't been seen in public since, with only the family's closest friends maintaining contact.

The only insight into the life of the Schumachers came in the family-curated Netflix documentary Schumacher, which was released in 2021 and featured interviews with his wife Corinna and son Mick.

In the documentary, Corinna said: "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.

"We're trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives."

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