Schumacher interview: Funke separates from “current” editor-in-chief

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Fictitious Schumacher interview – Funke separates from “current” editor-in-chief

Michael Schumacher

Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher in Singapore in 2012

Source: dpa/Diego Azubel

The magazine “die aktuell” has published an alleged interview with Michael Schumacher, whose quotes were a product of artificial intelligence. The media group Funke now speaks of a “misleading article” and draws personal consequences.

NAfter the publication of a fabricated interview with the Racing driver Michael Schumacher the Funke media group parted ways with the editor-in-chief of the magazine “die aktuell”. Funke also apologized to the Schumacher family in a message on Friday evening.

“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publishing house like Funke,” emphasized Funke Magazine Managing Director Bianca Pohlmann. Editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann, who has been journalistically responsible for “die aktuell” since 2009, is parting ways “with immediate effect”.

“Die aktuell” had its cover this week with a photo of the former Formula 1 world champion and the headline “Michael Schumacher: The first interview!”. Below that was the smaller subline “It sounds deceptively real”. Inside, the magazine then clarified: The interview with Schumacher came from a website “that has to do with artificial intelligence, or AI for short.”

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At the request of the German Press Agency, the Schumacher family had confirmed that they would take legal action.

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The seven-time Formula 1 world champion Schumacher has been alive for a serious winter sports accident fully withdrawn in 2013. Little is known about the state of health of the 54-year-old after the severe brain injuries he suffered at the time, with reference to the privacy of her husband and father, Schumacher’s wife Corinna Schumacher and his two children do not want to comment on it.

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