The family of Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher has won its lawsuit against the German weekly magazine Die Aktuelle, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2023 article that used generative AI to create an “interview” with the seven-time champion.

According to the Associated Press, the Schumacher family was awarded the equivalent of $217,000, with the publisher of Die Aktuelle, Funke, issuing an apology last year after the AI-generated interview came to light.

In April 2023, Die Aktuelle published a magazine edition with the front cover featuring a photograph of a smiling Schumacher with the headline, “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.” The interview however, was not conducted with Schumacher—but rather was created using the neutral language chatbot platform, Character AI.

The Schumacher family has guarded the racing star’s privacy after he suffered a severe brain injury in 2013. Prior to his injury, Schumacher won 91 races and seven championships in a career that spanned from 1991 to 2012.


The use of generative AI to create fake versions of celebrities and high-profile individuals remains a hot-button issue. On Monday, OpenAI removed ChatGPT’s ability to speak after one of the voices, “Sky,” was accused of sounding like actress Scarlett Johansson, who starred in the 2013 AI-themed film “Her.”

"We've heard questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT, especially Sky. We are working to pause the use of Sky while we address them," OpenAI said in a statement. Johansson said that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had previously approached her about voicing a chatbot, ahead of the alleged impersonation.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposed a rule that political ads should be required to disclose if they use AI-generated content ahead of the 2024 U.S. elections in November.


Edited by Andrew Hayward

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