Michael Schumacher's family to sue German magazine that said it had interviewed F1 legend - but had quotes from AI bot

20 April 2023, 12:29 | Updated: 20 April 2023, 15:44

Michael Schumacher's family will sue an AI chatbot
Michael Schumacher's family will sue an AI chatbot. Picture: Alamy/Die Aktuelle

By Will Taylor

Michael Schumacher's family is preparing legal action against a German magazine that said it interviewed him – but the quotes were just generated by an AI chatbot.

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Die Aktuelle's front page feature had a photo of the seven-times Formula One world champion claiming it had its first interview with him since his skiing accident left him with a serious brain injury in 2013.

Schumacher, who is the joint most successful alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton, has not been seen in public since then, and is at home, where his wife Corinna fiercely guards his privacy.

The front page includes the tag that it "sounds deceptively real", and readers soon find out the quotes are actually from an AI chatbot called Character.ai.

Read more: Fans blast magazine for publishing 'Michael Schumacher's first interview' which is actually quotes from AI chatbot

The AI interview, called "My life has completely changed", says: "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, because otherwise my body couldn't have dealt with it all.

The AI interview mortified fans
The AI interview mortified fans. Picture: Die Aktuelle

It adds: "Much better than years ago. With the help of my team, I can even stand on my own again and even walk a few steps slowly.

"My family and children have been a blessing to me and without them, I would not have been in business.

Read more: Missing X-Factor star Levi Davis feared to have drowned in sea off Barcelona as detectives make crucial breakthrough

"Of course, they are very sad about how everything went, but unfortunately, that's life and I just have to endure the fact that things sometimes go badly.

"They support me and stand fast at my side."

The grim interview shocked fans who saw it as disrespectful to the sporting legend and his family.

Schumacher is one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time
Schumacher is one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. Picture: Alamy

A spokesperson for the family pointed to reports they were taking legal action.

Schumacher, 54, who raced for Ferrari and Mercedes, was seriously injured while skiing in the French Alps.

His condition is not publicly known given the privacy surrounding him.

His wife Corinna did speak in the Netflix documentary Schumacher, when she said she misses him "every day".

"I mean, everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here. Different, but he's here and that gives us strength, I find," she said in the 2021 film.

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