Schumacher family awarded €200,000 in damages for fake A.I. interview

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The family of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher has received a significant financial settlement after a German magazine published a fabricated interview of the seven-time world champion in April 2023.

The controversy arose when Die Aktuelle splashed a story across its cover titled "Michael Schumacher, the first interview."

The article purported to be a tell-all conversation with the retired racing champion, who has been kept out of the public eye by his family since suffering severe brain injuries in a skiing accident in Meribel, France in 2013.

However, upon closer inspection, the interview was revealed to be entirely fictional. Die Aktuelle had used artificial intelligence (AI) to generate responses supposedly from Schumacher himself.

The deceptive tactic caused outrage within the racing community and the wider public, and in the wake of the controversy, Die Aktuelle’s editor-in-chief was fired.

However, the Schumacher family swiftly took legal action against the magazine's publisher, Funke Mediengruppe.

The Munich Labour Court recently ruled in their favor, ordering Funke to pay a hefty compensation of €200,000 to the Schumacher family.

This landmark case serves as a stark warning against the misuse of AI technology in journalism. It highlights the importance of journalistic integrity and the potential ethical pitfalls associated with deepfakes.

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