Editor sacked over Schumacher AI interview
By Mat Coch
Monday 24th April, 2023 - 12:03pm
The magazine editor who published a faked interview with Michael Schumacher has been sacked.
Last week, Die Aktuelle published an artificial intelligence-generated interview with the seven-time world champion.
It splashed ‘The first interview’ across its front page with the strapline ‘it sounded deceptively real’ as the only qualifier that it was not what the headline proclaimed.
Schumacher’s family announced it would pursue its legal options following its publication, with the magazine’s publisher taking its own action.
An apology and confirmation that Anne Hoffmann has been removed as editor-in-chief have been issued.
“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared,” said Bianca Pohlmann, managing director of Funke Mediengruppe.
“It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect.
“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.”
Schumacher suffered a severe head injury while skiing off-piste in the French Alps in 2013.
He was placed into a medically induced coma and underwent several surgeries due to his accident.
The family has kept its patriarch’s condition a closely guarded secret since, with no specifics regarding the now-54-year-old’s health available.
At the start of 2022, Schumacher was awarded the North Rhine-Westphalia State Prize, which was accepted on his behalf by his wife Corinna.
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