Mar 7, 2023 - News

RadioGPT brings AI to the airwaves

A screen grab of RadioGPT, and online station with an image of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" playing.

RadioGPT hopes to make struggling stations sweet dreams come true. Photo: Courtesy of Futuri

The future of radio has arrived, and it's coming to you live from Cleveland.

Driving the news: Local media company Futuri has launched RadioGPT, the world's first-ever radio platform powered by artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: RadioGPT could transform the broadcast industry, enabling companies to cut costs while determining some, if not all, of a radio station's content.

How it works: RadioGPT uses Futuri's TopicPulse technology to scan online news sources and social media to identify topics and trends in local markets.

  • The platform then creates scripts for radio broadcasts — which are delivered on air by AI-generated personalities — using the same GPT-3 technology implemented by ChatGPT.
  • Futuri's technology can automate other processes as well, including creating website blogs, social media posts, short-form videos and converting on-air content into podcasts.

Zoom out: Futuri isn't alone in this space. Last month, Spotify launched a new AI feature called DJ.

  • Like a radio disc jockey, DJ offers a curated selection of music narrated by AI-powered spoken commentary.

What they're saying: Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig tells Axios his company created RadioGPT to "save radio, not compete with it."

  • "Our research shows that seven out of 10 air shifts around the world are already unmanned with generic production or voice tracking," Anstandig says. "What we're looking to do is augment a station's ability to fill its programming with more live and local content."

The other side: Much as we've seen as ChatGPT has gained attention, RadioGPT raises concerns about AI costing people their jobs.

  • "What made terrestrial radio appealing was the unique personalities of disc jockeys," longtime Cleveland radio executive John Gorman, who ran stations like WMMS and oWow Radio, tells Axios. "You'll never be able to fully replace that."

What's next: Futuri has launched a demo site to showcase RadioGPT's capabilities.

  • The technology will debut at actual radio stations in mid-April, including Portland-based Alpha Media, which owns and operates more than 200 stations in the U.S., and Rogers Sports & Media, which owns 55 across Canada.
  • Anstandig says he expects RadioGPT to be implemented by "several hundred" radio stations by year-end.

The bottom line: Radio broadcasting companies could look to AI as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency in a struggling industry.

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