In yet another troubling sign, artificial intelligence is taking our jobs. A radio station in Portland, Oregon, introduced its audience to “AI Ashley,” the world’s first-ever radio platform powered by artificial intelligence.
“We made history as the world’s first radio station with an AI DJ! Our midday host Ashley has become AI Ashley! We can’t wait for you to meet Ashley, the world’s first artificially intelligent DJ. As to the intelligence of our other DJs… we’ll save that for another post ;),” KBFF, Live 95.5, tweeted.
AI Ashley is the cloned voice of the station’s midday host, Ashley Elzinga. The AI is powered by media company Futuri, which developed RadioGPT, the world’s first-ever radio platform powered by AI.
RadioGPT uses Futuri’s TopicPulse technology to scan social media and online news to identify the hottest topics and trends of the day. The AI can create radio broadcast scripts, even automate social media posts, and convert on-air content into podcasts.
“It’s AI Ashley calling our first Taylor Swift winner,” the cloned voice said as KBFF spoke with one lucky winner.
We made history as the world’s first radio station with an AI DJ! Our midday host Ashley has become AI Ashley! We can’t wait for you to meet Ashley, the world’s first artificially intelligent DJ. As to the intelligence of our other DJ’s…we’ll save that for another post 😉 pic.twitter.com/CtlMhYU0IO
— Live 95.5 (@live955) June 13, 2023
Live 95.5’s parent company, Alpha Media, assured Tech Crunch that Elzinga would not be losing her job (yet) due to the integration of AI Ashley.
“It’s a hybrid situation where we’ll have traditional Ashley on during some segments, and we’ll have AI Ashley on during other segments.
“In an instance where AI Ashley would be broadcasting, the traditional Ashley might be doing something in the community, managing social posts or working on digital assets or the other elements that come with the job,” Phil Becker, Alpha Media EVP of Content, said.
Becker pointed out that Alpha Media’s move to use RadioGPT isn’t about saving costs but more about creating efficiencies.
The rise of AI in the radio industry comes as iHeartMedia, which owns hundreds of radio stations across the country, restructured its organization and laid off hundreds of people, and even invested in AI.
Twitter users weren’t thrilled by AI Ashley. One person said, “This will wipe out swaths of jobs.”
Recall Goldman told clients, “Extrapolating our estimates globally suggests that generative AI could expose the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs to automation,” as up to “two-thirds of occupations could be partially automated by AI.”
And it’s only a matter of time before a tsunami of radio stations adds AI hosts that are indistinguishable from human voices. Next to be automated will be the local evening news.