AI Radio: what could this mean for DJs, Artists, and Listeners?
AI is getting incredibly sophisticated. Query ChatGPT and be prepared to be blown away by its capabilities. As with all things technology, there's always an eye on the horizon to what's next and AI Radio is on the horizon. In fact, it's already here. Some people might be excited by this, but I am not. A DJ, as most of us think of them, is a human curator, with their own unique perspective and voice. A seasoned and thoughtful DJ is an artist. To curate, or program a show of any kind — music, visual art, dance, poetry, or something else — is a creative process that has nuance and a meaningful flow with an overview of connecting elements.
The connecting elements are rarely based solely on algorithmic collections of popular pieces pushed by big industries. A thoughtful program includes peaks and valleys of more popular and lesser-known gems that are all valuable perspectives in the sonic landscape. A great DJ will infuse interesting conversation and information into their show, and there is an artistic element to that as well. Maybe it's the perfect quote or line of poetry from an entirely unrelated source that draws parallels, or possibly it's connecting music to current events and weaving in elements of storytelling. There is humanity in the work of a great DJ. Technology is amazing! And it is not the same as the human touch. Fill in your own analogy, the statement stands...
: Massage chair :: Trained masseuse
: VR Museum :: Walking through an actual museum
: Conversation with AI :: Conversation with a real person
: Phone maze with all of the options :: Helpful telephone operator
What does this mean for businesses?
One thing that makes AI attractive (to businesses) is it's free or virtually free and does not require any of the traditional human resources (space, vacation, health benefits, sick days, etc.) and businesses can still sell ad space.
What does this mean for DJs?
Will DJs be replaced with a bot that can do a competent but less artful job? Possibly. If that is the case, it means that there will be less human curiosity involved in thoughtful interviews and the flow of musical selections will be controlled by business algorithms. It may mean that bias can be programmed leaving out important art and artists.
What does this mean for artists?
Most likely, mainstream, popular works will get played, but hidden and important gems could be harder to come across than they already are. If popularity (influence by Big Music) and big money profitability are two hemispheres of the Venn diagram of what AI Radio plays, many great artists could find it impossible to enter the market.
What does this mean for the listener?
Discovery is an important part of participating in art. So much art that is seen as "great" in hindsight was not the most popular in its time, and that is as true today as it was in the past. There is a vast array of wonderful, and purposeful art that is made every day that may not be the most popular, but that is nevertheless important and valuable to experience. Great art pushes boundaries, not seen in algorithms. Speaking only for myself, I don't want to be algorithmically limited to what is most popular to the masses.
What could AI Radio mean to you?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below. Read more about RadioGPT: