HomeEventsFamily of F1 legend Michael Schumacher wins lawsuit over AI-generated interview

Family of F1 legend Michael Schumacher wins lawsuit over AI-generated interview

Formula 1 legend Michael sSchumacher'The writer’s family received compensation of 200,000 euros from the book’s publishers. The actual.

This German magazine printed an AI-generated “interview” with Schumacher in April 2023. The front page featured an image of Schumacher, the headline “Michael Schumacher, the primary interview” and the slogan “It sounded deceptively real”.

The article contained alleged quotes from Schumacher that were generated by an AI program called character.ai.

The AI-generated Schumacher interview appeared within the magazine “Die Aktuelle”

The artificial dialogue touched on topics resembling Schumacher's health and family life following the intense head injury he sustained in a skiing accident in December 2013.

Schumacher, a seven-time F1 world champion, has not been seen in public since his accident and his family has kept his exact health condition secret.

In a 2021 Netflix documentary, Schumacher’s wife Corinna stressed the importance of maintaining his privacy: “We live together at home. We do therapy. We do all the things we are able to to make Michael feel higher and cozy. We just make him feel like we’re a family and that we have now a connection.”

The AI-generated “interview” sparked outrage amongst Schumacher’s family, who announced they’d sue the magazine.

The Funke Media Group, publisher of “Aktuelle”, then apologized to the family and fired the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anne Hoffmann.

Bianca PohlmannManaging Director of Funke Media Groupcondemned the article as “tasteless and misleading” and said it didn’t meet the journalistic standards expected by the publisher and its readers.

Spokesperson for the family Sabine Kehm confirmed the successful lawsuit against the Funke Media Group, but didn’t provide any further details in regards to the case.

Non-consensual AI-generated material is controversial

The recent OpenAI debacle with Scarlett Johansson has made it clear to us that AI firms must take more responsibility.

Likewise, people must take more responsibility for using models when sensitive topics are involved or when the “goal person” is unwilling or unable to provide their consent.

There have been some controversial events on this direction, resembling the estate of the late comedian star George Carlin Lawsuit against the makers of an AI-generated fake comedy show that impersonated the comedian.

The video, which was allegedly the product of an AI trained on Carlin's published material, was each impressive and disturbing. It also demonstrated the tremendous advances AI has made in cloning voices.

Carlin's daughter was understandably shocked by the video, and his estate is now suing Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, co-hosts and creators of Dudesyfor copyright infringement and violation of Carlin's personal rights.

In one other similar incident, Zelda WilliamsDaughter of popular American actor Robin Williams, spoke about how someone used artificial intelligence to mimic her late father's distinctive voice.

Robin Williams, known for his legendary roles in movies resembling “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Dead Poets Society,” tragically took his own life in 2014 on the age of 62.

The use of artificial intelligence to bring people “back from the dead” has raised serious ethical concerns. A recent study from the University of Cambridge examines hypothetical situations during which AI could cause serious harm to people and society.

The Schumacher case should make people and publishers think twice before using sensitive, AI-generated material.


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