WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
If you think automation and AI will affect just a few jobs you’re horribly mistaken. But at least AI will be able to play your favourite tunes while you get drunk thinking about it.
AI killed the radio star … or will soon it seems. It’s been pretty slow in the audio world for the past few weeks — except when it comes to AI, which seems to be progressing at a clip. And now ChatGPT, the world famous bot, is coming for radio DJ jobs after Axios Cleveland reported that local business Futuri has launched a product called RadioGPT which can theoretically do most of the work of manning a radio station without any of the human labor.
According to the website the new ChatGPT powered radio station uses GPT-4-powered bots that can perform interstitial chats about the music lineup, local weather, and news and even field listener comments and questions. RadioGPT can also do tasks that would otherwise be the domain of interns and entry-level staffers, like creating complimentary blog posts, converting live shows into podcasts, and social media.
Unlike the deeply wonky AI Radio, which was reported on last month, this is not just a fun thought experiment. According to Axios, the product will debut next month with Alpha Media and Rogers Sports & Media, which represent more than 250 stations combined across the US and Canada.
Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig told Axios that the product was meant to “save radio, not compete with it” by filling hours that stations can’t man anyway. “What we’re looking to do is augment a station’s ability to fill its programming with more live and local content,” he said.
The way Anstandig positions it is that for many radio stations, it’s AI or it’s nothing. That may be true in some cases, but the companies that have signed up so far aren’t exactly indies. It seems more likely that radio companies will have the opportunity to use this tool (or others like it) as a means to cut their labour force and reduce the already diminishing audio industry pipeline.