Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Radio Personalities?
The first radio station completely run by artificial intelligence is here. Does this spell trouble for your favorite radio host?
Do you think AI would make a good morning show personality? Several stations across the pond think so.
Germany launches the first radio station driven by AI
Antenne Deutschland recently launched the online station, Absolut Radio AI, where computers voice all their programs.
The station, which is geared toward listeners under age 50, plays an assortment of dance and pop music. It's hosted by a bot called "kAI."
Absolut Radio AI Program Director Tina Zacher, who is human, thinks this is the future of radio:
kAI is a presenter in its infancy. We know that he is certainly not perfect at the beginning and that he will make one or two mistakes. I could imagine that we will soon provide kAI with a sidekick or that listeners will be able to interact with him. Everything is conceivable and possible.
It should be noted Polish station, Radio Piekary, also made the news for employing the AI personality, Basia, to host a one-hour air shift.
If you think AI is only posing a threat to European human radio personalities, think again.
AI radio personalities are already in the U.S.
If you live in Portland, you can tune in to hear AI Ashley - the first AI generated radio personality in America.
Now imagine your favorite CNY radio host replaced by a digital versions of themselves. Do you think an AI program can match the wit of WIBX's Bill Keeler or the energy levels of Big Frog 104's Polly?
According to AI experts, anything is possible. And, to them, they find that very exciting.
Antenne Deutschland Managing Director Mirko Drenger told RadioInk about the artificial intelligence DJ kAI:
Anything is possible [including a switch to DAB+]. But now the program must first establish itself and prove that it is suitable for the masses.
The big question here is: how will radio consumers react to these AI personalities? The consumers will, ultimately, be the deciding factor in what happens next.
AI can do more than host radio shows
The ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA has raised numerous warnings about AI uprooting the entertainment industry as a whole.
Writers have warned that Hollywood hot shots are already flirting with letting AI write television shows and movies. According to the striking WGA members, artificial intelligence can never match what human screenwriters are capable of creating.
Essentially, they argue AI doesn't have human experiences to draw inspiration from - so they'll steal ideas that have been published before. But the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers doesn't feel that way.
Instead, they feel "advances in technology" will be able to fill that void in the future. That's why they don't want to rule out using AI in the future, which is part of the reason why there hasn't been a resolution.
As for SAG-AFTRA, working actors warn that if AI replaces them on the screen - it will also replace human directors, producers, as well as the entire hair, makeup, costuming, styling and even the stunt double and industry.
Essentially, it'll kill multiple careers.
Backup actors have already sounded the alarm the practice has already started, with extras claiming their bodies were scanned so they could be digitally replicated into any television show or movie.
Their concern is what happens once the genie is fully let out of the bottle.
What does this mean for your job?
Virtually every job stands to be impacted by AI, warns "the Godfather of AI" Geoffrey Hinton.
Dr. Hinton is credited for creating the intellectual foundation for AI back in 2012. He developed the program alongside two of his grad students at the University of Toronto.
Over a decade later, his excitement for the future has slowly turned into into horror.
He told the NY Times back in May that his concern is AI can and will become superior to humans if left unchecked.
His other main concern is what'll happen to the job industry as a whole. Right now, he deems the jobs most likely at risk to being replaced are those that do "drudge work," such as paralegals, personal assistants, translators and similar occupations.
He thinks more jobs will step into the immediate line of fire if AI continues to advance.
Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now. Take the difference and propagate it forwards. That’s scary.
Let's not even get into the argument over salaries and bottom line business.
Still, with the rise of AI radio personalities, actors and more, Dr. Hinton says this is opening the door for two major consequences: AI becoming weaponized by bad actors and AI becoming too smart to be controlled by humans.
For the prior, Dr. Hinton warns AI is already capable of spreading misinformation. "It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things," he said.
While the latter thought is theoretical, he has reason to believe this could become our collective reality if checks aren't regularly made to ensure AI remains obedient and subservient.
The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that. But most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.
He is also calling for passing regulations on AI to ensure this possibility doesn't cross into reality.
Whether or not our political leaders will act has yet to be seen.
Until then, we'll continue to see strikes, robot radio personalities and students getting into trouble for using ChatGPT to write their homework.