Radio Stations Test AI DJs RadioGPT creates AI-powered DJs for local broadcasts.

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Radio Stations Test AI DJs: RadioGPT creates AI-powered DJs for local broadcasts.

A language model will stand in for radio disk jockeys.

What’s new: RadioGPT generates radio shows tailored for local markets. The system, which is undergoing tests across North America, is a product of Futuri, a company based in Cleveland, Ohio, that focuses on digital audience engagement.

How it works: Futuri’s proprietary Topic Pulse system determines trending topics in a radio station’s local market, and OpenAI’s GPT-4 generates a script. An unspecified model vocalizes the script using between one and three voices. Customers can choose a preset voice or clone their own.

  • RadioGPT plays songs from a user-selected list. It punctuates the presentation with a chatty AI-generated voice that delivers factoids about songs or artists. It can also generate weather, traffic, and brief news reports.
  • Listeners who download an app can send voice memos, and the automated DJ can incorporate them into its script. For instance, the DJ can play back listeners’ voices as though they were calling in and use their locations to call out specific areas within reach of the station’s signal.
  • Alpha Media, which owns 207 radio stations in the United States, and Rogers Sports & Media, which owns 55 stations in Canada, will beta test the technology beginning in April, Axios reported.

Behind the news: Fully automated media programs are gaining momentum as AI models make it easy to produce endless amounts of text and audio.

  • Music-streaming service Spotify recently launched its own automated DJ, which similarly spices up custom playlists with factoids and observations about the user’s listening habits.
  • In January, a never-ending, AI-generated comedy based on the sitcom Seinfeld debuted on Twitch. It used GPT-3 to generate scripts, Microsoft Azure to simulate voices, and the Unity game engine to generate the scenes.
  • In October, Dubai-based launched a podcast that features simulations of famous — sometimes deceased — people. So far, the show has featured ersatz voices of Oprah Winfrey, Terence McKenna with Alan Watts, and Lex Friedman with Richard Feynman.

Why it matters: Many radio stations already are highly automated and rely for news on syndicated programming. AI-generated DJs that localize news and listener interactions can give them programming customized to their markets and may help them compete with streaming services.

We’re thinking: RadioGPT fits generative AI into a traditional radio workflow. Ultimately, we suspect, this tech will remake the medium in more fundamental ways.


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