The interview with Schumacher and AI: Artificial Idiocy
What happens when journalism’s worst meets AI, artificial idiocy? When will professional ethics disappear and the ontology of technology appear? It happens that we stop at nothing: good taste, respect, pain, illness, death and so on. And it happens, for example, that a fake interview looks like this the one created with artificial intelligence for Michael Schumacher from the German weekly newspaper ‘Die Aktuell’.
An interview that obviously never took place but was reissued on the front page in (literally) sensationalist tones: “World Exclusive”, “The First Interview with the Champion after the Accident”. Full-page headlines other than the specification of the conversation and conduct, or rather the simulated answers of the former German champion – about family life after the accident, about his real state of health, about his children’s career, about the return to the public – with the AI program character.aias if it were a normal job interview.
The Schumacher family has therefore announced a lawsuit against the tabloid, but the subject of AI makes everything complex: the rules that deal with artificial intelligence are still shaped by large legal loopholes while how writes the Corriere della Sera, “Twelve European Union legislators have called for state intervention to bring clarity to the media world as well, given the number of lawsuits arising over this type of content». Meanwhile, however, controversy raged in Germany (and elsewhere), to the point of the obligatory public apology from the newspaper management:
“It’s a misleading article that should never have appeared. It’s not the journalistic standards we expect, let alone our readers. The explanation of how the interview was conducted was too hidden and underwritten compared to the headlines on the first page “World Exclusive” and “First Interview with the Champion after the Accident”.
Bianca Pohlmann, Managing Director of the sparkthe publishing group that owns The actual
It was Anne Hoffman, the weekly’s content editor, who paid for the fake information with the dismissal in the trunk. But aside from the apologies and replacing Mrs. Hoffman, there’s a bitter aftertaste in this whole story, a creeping but deep uneasiness. The awareness that when natural stupidity meets artificial stupidity, where journalism falls and the algorithm rises, anything really can happen.