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April 28, 2023 9:47 am  #1

Would You Listen To A Radio Station If It Was "Staffed" By A.I. Hosts?

By now, you've probably heard about RadioGPT, which allows a station to use an Artificial Intelligence host to act as a DJ. And earlier this week, a Swedish radio station presented 13 hours of all A.I. jocks and music.

These fake personalities are remarkably lifelike and can even mimic a well-known personality's speech and voice. 

Many are worried that as the technology gets better and better, it's only a matter of time before radio stations, always looking to save a buck, might be permanently installing them as the new afternoon drive crew.

My question: do you think listeners would stay tuned once they discovered they're listening to a machine? There would certainly be an initial curiosity factor, but after a while, I suspect there might be a backlash, leading to a tune-out. There is already research that says if people find out an email or a message they received is composed by a computer, people tend to take it less seriously and even resent it. 

No one likes to be greeted by one of those automated phone recordings when you call a company, spend 10 minutes going through endless menus (which for reason always seemed to have just "changed") and never do reach an actual human being who could answer your question in about three seconds. So even though it's very sophisticated, wouldn't they have the same reaction to a canned radio voice? 

I think any station that decides to do this - except maybe on an otherwise throw-away overnight shift - might find the listeners prefer a real human being to a machine. Someone's going to take the chance (Rogers is already publicly on board.) The key will be whether the numbers show people resent it - or if they simply won't care. 

Would you listen to AI radio for any length of time if it was presented as a regular host, or would it eventually irritate you enough to tune out?