Artificial Intelligence DJs that sound scarily like humans

By Jon Holiday – Managing Partner/Radio Consulting Services

Artificial Intelligence

Conversations have been quietly taking place in our business for several years, especially within the debt-ridden mega corporations involving how AI (Artificial Intelligence) can replace on air and off-air employees. This technology has created the “perfect” on-air personality; one with a great voice, appeal, and charisma. Oh, and they’ll do whatever you tell them to do.

Stories on this subject showed up in my email in recent months, from a few different research companies who commiserate with my feelings about this as a radio guy. We understand that iHeart Radio already began using AI in certain off air and on-air positions about two years ago.

According to Reuters the “bean counters” dream just might come true. Several tech companies such as Adthos, Micmonster, Veritone and WellSaid Labs have honed AI to create human-sounding voices that the user can type in content breaks, imaging, promos, spots, and let the technology do it’s magic.

One of these company’s demo voice is a former major market personality. This is just one of 50 AI voices available for different usages depending upon the business application including on-air. We don’t believe this technology can replace a talent’s knowledge of so many random things and will not replace their range of emotions.

Can you envision “cube farms” of people employed by the mega radio corporations, or more likely remote jobs? In any event, these “content creators” jobs would be to type talk breaks with relatable content, station promos, news, traffic, etc. for the AI voices that the tech companies employ. Afterall, someone will need to create all of this content.

We do not advocate replacing live or even voice tracked personalities. However, we might see this technology being used for an additional pool of voices to record commercials at clusters without a wealth of people. It could be useful on overnights where the majority of stations lack live/local or even voice tracked personalities.

Text-to-speech has been existed for a while, but the technology has vastly improved. To a scary degree I have to say. 

About Radio Consulting Services

Radio Consulting Services is the multi-format consulting and programming services company advising stations on how to grow their audience. Every day, our winning Programming and Consulting team keeps radio stations on top.  For more information on how Radio Consulting Services can help your company gain more listeners, achieve higher ratings and grow revenue, contact Jon Holiday.