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Michael Schumacher family win legal action over fake AI interview

The family of German former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said Thursday they won a legal action against a tabloid magazine which printed a fake AI interview with the 55-year-old.

Magazine ‘Die Aktuelle’ had in April 2023 claimed it had an interview with the motorsport legend — the first since he suffered a serious brain injury in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps.

But the article headlined “Michael Schumacher, the first interview” in fact contained quotes which had been generated by artificial intelligence. 

A spokesperson for the Schumacher family confirmed to AFP on Thursday that the legal action was “successful”, but declined to comment any further. 

German tabloid Bild reported on Thursday that the family was awarded 200,000 euros ($220,000) in compensation, an amount the family spokesperson did not confirm. 

The publisher of the magazine had previously made a public apology to Schumacher and his family. 

Anne Hoffmann, the editor in chief of Die Aktuelle, was fired as a result of the article. 

Germany’s press council (DP) criticised the interview, saying the “serious misleading of the readership is likely to damage the credibility of the media.”

Schumacher has not been seen in public since suffering the injury and has been in care at the family home in Switzerland since. 

The German, who retired in 2012, won seven Formula One driver’s championships, the equal best mark which he shares with Britain’s Lewis Hamilton.

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