AI Schumacher interview causes lawsuit over false statements of injured racer

Michael Schumacher smiling on the cover of a German magazine

Michael Schumacher smiling on the cover of a German magazine

The family of Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher is taking legal action against an AI interview of the iconic racer. Published by German magazine Die Aktuelle, the Michael Schumacher AI interview was completely generated by artificial intelligence.

The AI Schumacher interview was pushed as a front page story for the German magazine. Dubbed “Michael Schumacher, the first interview”, the magazine pushed the feature as the first discussion with the Ferrari racer since his traumatic brain injury in 2013.

Schumacher has been absent from the public view since suffering a brain injury during a skiing trip. The racer’s fake AI interview heavily discussed the injury as well as the life-changing it has had on the Formula 1 driver.

In the AI Schumacher interview, the Character.AI generated statements read: “My life has completely changed since [the accident]. That was a horrible time for my wife, my children and the whole family.”

“I was so badly injured that I lay for months in a kind of artificial coma,” the fake interview continues. “Because otherwise my body couldn’t have dealt with it all.”

The cover of the magazine that included the AI Schumacher interview
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The fake interview even discusses the nature of the driver’s current health. According to the AI version of the racer, he can stand by himself and “slowly walk a few steps”.

Michael Schumacher’s family are working to legally act upon the AI generated interview, reveals Reuters. Due to the interview being pushed as a genuine talk with the seven-time F1 Champion on the front page, the fake interview could be seen as not only misleading, but exploitation of the racer.

The article does reveal that the statements in the fake Schumacher interview are generated by AI. However, the publication still published false statements from the injured celebrity in a misleading way. 

Die Aktuelle, the publication behind the fake interview, has refused to comment on the upcoming lawsuit. The lawsuit could be an integral component of the ongoing pushback against AI generated artwork, documents and music.

AI generation has already started a litany of actions against users of the generative tools. For example, music publisher UMG has taken action against AI generated song covers using the vocals of artists such as Drake and Rihanna.

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