What Did Listeners Say When This Station Went A.I.?


Another radio station is getting pushback after giving AI a try on-air, but they’re not deterred. On Thursday, April 27, Swiss radio station Couleur 3 openly experimented with artificial intelligence, running 13 hours of AI-to-text written, AI-voiced, and AI-programmed music content. The test was not dissimilar to what Drew Carey tried on his SiriusXM show earlier this year, with one major difference: honesty.

While Carey wasn’t initially open about what he was trying, Couleur 3 ran a message every twenty minutes telling listeners they were hearing AI content and openly asking for feedback via WhatsApp.

According to parent company Radio Television Suisse, several hundred messages were sent, ranging from, “It’s amazing what we manage to do with this tool,” to, “Give us back our humans!” Some listeners admitted they had believed it was content as usual until the disclaimer popped up. “I sometimes got tricked, but there is something weird and the jokes are flat,” said one listener. Another said, “It definitely does not replace the human.”

In light of the feedback, Couleur 3 seems to have taken a stance less on the “never again” side of Carey, and more on the side of Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig’s response to Carey or this week’s Radio Ink column from Mike McVay.

“We do not want to bury our heads in the sand in the face of changes in society, but rather test them, understand them, and then see the limits that we set ourselves”, said Couleur 3 head Antoine Multone. “It is not easy to distinguish who is speaking, a human or a robot. On the other hand, this experience also shows us that creativity, surprise, and humor remain very human characteristics – and that reassures us, even if we had no doubts about it from the start of the project. This day shows us the way forward: working on added value and originality in our content.”

“AI helps us by making certain tasks easier, saving us time, and allowing for broader and more in-depth research,” adds RTS Director Pascal Crittin. “It in no way replaces the human being, its creativity, its emotion, its ability to break or shift so much on Color 3. Especially since the teams have been preparing for this day for three months: the AI is not simply a shortcut on the air. RTS intends to use AI within a framework of demanding professional ethics, making sure to offer the public a reliable shield against fake news.”



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