A German publication has been labeled “stupid” after claiming an “exclusive interview” with a famous race car driver on the cover of their most current issue, only to reveal later that Artificial Intelligence had created the purported quotes.
After a skiing accident in December 2013, Michael Schumacher was rushed to the hospital and subsequently placed in an induced coma. He’s been in a virtual media blackout ever since.
During his career, the superstar race car driver won seven world titles.
Many people were taken aback when the German newspaper Die Aktuelle published an “exclusive interview” with the injured driver, given the continued lack of information about his grave condition.
There was a photo of Schumacher and the word “exclusive” on the front cover.
The magazine said it was “the first interview” he has given since his skiing mishap.
There were immediate skeptics because the Schumachers were pretty private. Adding a tag on the cover that read ‘It sounds deceptively real’ raised some suspicions.
At the conclusion of the anonymously written piece, it is revealed that all of the quotes were made up and that the author had no contact with Schumacher or any family member.
Formula One fans were outraged by the magazine’s claim to have interviewed Schumacher, calling it “disrespectful” and “disgraceful.”
In 2015, a portrait of Corinna appeared on the same magazine’s cover with the caption, “Corinna Schumacher – a new love makes her happy.” She sued them but eventually dropped the suit.
The article was about her daughter Gina Maria, but the family’s lawyer, Felix Damm, sued the paper because of the misleading headline.
Before this controversy, the magazine’s front cover in the previous year featured a portrait of Michael and Corinna with the headline “Awake,” which was also much criticized.
It wasn’t Michael Schumacher, but others who had been in comas for extended periods which were the subjects of the headline. Regardless, it was judged to be offensive.
On the occasion of Michael Schumacher’s 50th birthday in 2019, his family updated his millions of followers on his current condition and promised to do “everything humanly possible” to aid in his recovery.
It was announced in 2020 that he was about to have stem cell surgery, but the operation had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neurology specialist Professor Erich Riederer assessed Schumacher and said he doubted the racing legend would fully recover.
“He’s in a vegetative state.”