Live 95.5, a radio station based in Portland, USA, has become the first radio station in the world to use what it says is an ‘AI DJ’: a disc jockey based on artificial intelligence.
The studio unveiled the AI-based disc jockey on June 13, and has named it ‘AI Ashley.’
What is ‘AI Ashley’?
It is actually a cloned voice of Ashley Elzinga, a midday host working at Live 95.5, and hence the name ‘AI Ashley.’ Powering it is Futuri Media’s RadioGPT, an AI-powered tool that uses GPT-4 to generate a script based on trending news, and reads it with a synthetic voice.
Interestingly, the synthetic voice introduces itself to listeners as AI Ashley, doing so to avoid being confused with its real-life avatar.
What about the real-life host?
Elzinga, the ‘inspiration’ behind AI Ashley, is not going anywhere and will continue receiving her regular salary; in fact, it was Elzinga herself who introduced AI Ashley to the world. Live 95.5 is broadcasting the cloned version of her voice from 10am to 3pm every day.
Alpha Media, the radio station’s parent company, clarified that Elzinga and AI Ashley will be used in a ‘hybrid’ way, with segments being assigned to each.
“In an instance where AI Ashley will 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, EVP of Content, Alpha Media, explained to TechCrunch.
The company, Becker noted, had deployed RadioGPT not to save costs, but to use it as an ‘efficient tool’ in toolsets of the station’s hosts.