Die Aktuelle editor fired over fake Michael Schumacher interview

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The editor-in-chief of German tabloid Die Aktuelle has been fired in the wake of the A.I. generated recently published fake interview with seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher.

This week, the magazine shamefully promoted on its cover a "Michael Schumacher - The First Interview, a World Sensation" piece on the F1 great that was in reality an imaginary Q&A exchange with the German generated by an Artificial Intelligence chatbot.

Die Aktuelle had published a discrete disclaimer on its cover but that did little to calm a massive wave of criticism directed at the magazine and expressed on social media by readers and fans of Schumacher.

The Schumacher family – which has heavily guarded the privacy of the former F1 driver since his skiing accident in Meribel at the end of 2013 – has unsurprisingly taken legal action against Die Aktuelle.

But publisher Funke Magazines has taken the matter into its own hands by firing the magazine's editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann on Friday, while also apologising to the Schumacher family.

Funke managing director Bianca Pohlmann did not hold back her contempt for the fake article and the method used by Die Aktuelle.

"This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared," Pohlmann said in a statement.

"It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke."

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