Eventually, artificial intelligence will change the world. For now, though, it’s mainly a tool for weirdos and freaks to plumb uncanny valley for some of the most unsettling, least appealing content the world has ever seen. Following in the proud tradition disturbing AI applications like Distended Nightmare Fingers and Holograph Of Your Grandma’s Ghost, German tabloid Die Aktuelle used AI to “interview” F1 legend Michael Schumacher for their most recent cover story.
Schumacher hasn’t been seen in public since he suffered a serious brain injury during a skiing accident in 2013; his family is planning to sue the German magazine for its callous and untrue representation of Schumacher.
“No meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends,” read the coverline. “But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54!”
“My life has completely changed since [the accident],” wrote the chatbot impersonating Schumacher. “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,” it continued, “because otherwise my body couldn’t have dealt with it all.”
Ever since his injury, Schumacher has been shielded by his family from the prying eye of the public. Commendably, his family has protected his privacy to the point that his medical condition is still unknown.
“We’re together,” his wife, Corinna, said at the end of the Netflix documentary Schumacher, the only time she’s spoken about his condition. “We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable. And to simply make him feel our family, our bond. And no matter what, I will do everything I can. We all will.
“It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible,” she continued. “Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”
Disgustingly, this isn’t the first time that Die Aktuelle has tried to capitalize on Schumacher’s tragedy to bring attention to the magazine. In a 2014 issue, the cover featured Schumacher and his wife Corinna with the headline “Awake” for story about people who had previously woken up from comas that was totally unrelated to the F1 legend.
In 2015, the magazine insinuated that Corinna had entered a new romantic relationship, teasing on the cover that “a new love” had entered her life for a story about the couple’s daughter, Gina. The Schumachers tried to sue the magazine for €50,000, but the court ruled in favor of the magazine.
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