Magazine publishes Michael Schumacher fake AI-generated interview

Occurred: April 2023

A German magazine published a fake, AI-generated interview with former F1 racing driver Michael Schumacher, resulting in widespread outcry and ridicule.

German tabloid magazine Die Aktuelle received a public dressing down for publishing a so-called 'exclusive interview' with the former F1 racing driver, who had been in an induced coma since a 2014 skiing accident.

The article was produced using Character AI, an AI system that automatically generated 'quotes' by Schumacher about his health and family, and only revealed it had been artificially generated at the bottom of the 'interview'. The magazine ran it on its front cover, with the headline 'Michael Schumacher, the first interview'.

The Funke Media Group, which owns Die Aktuelle, later apologised for the incident and fired the magazine's editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann. The Schumacher family said they would take legal action against the magazine. 

Operator: Die Aktuelle
Developer: Character AI
Country: Germany
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Communicate with personalities
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation; Privacy; Ethics
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: April 2023
Last updated: December 2023