Don’t Lean On The Deadly Crutch


(By Buzz Knight) There is no denying that AI has arrived. This year had made me and so many others in our industry realize that artificial intelligence has fully made the jump from buzzword to reality. Now as more and more are familiar with and actually using AI, like ChatGPT, the buzz is accelerating at a dizzying pace.

Many of you know from my Radio Ink column that I am pro-technology and pro-innovation as a necessity to doing business in 2023. To keep up with competitors you have no choice. Artificial intelligence, just like any form of intelligence, needs to be used wisely and responsibly to make your product or business better.

But when I observe people tripping over each other trying to out-AI each other it alarms me. If AI’s first step in radio is cutting valuable bodies on the next round of budget cuts, it won’t be good.

The business has essentially eliminated midday and nighttime air talent. Thankfully there have been some survivors, but it’s only a matter of time before a pencil-pusher is going to only stare at the budget line and suggest plugging an AI solution into one of those day parts.

This AI crutch will begin to kill more and more radio brands.

When COVID budget cuts led to talent firings, I believed it was a terrible miscalculation. I only believe it more profoundly today. If companies go through the next round with a bean counter’s approach, we are further destroying a heart and soul of a brand.

I’m certain if asked to take an A/B testing approach, “Johnny Generic DJ” who was the previous live body sounds just like his AI-created voice.

I’m also certain that when human hands no longer have contact with a brand identity, that same brand identity is being flushed down the toilet.

Buzz Knight can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]. Read Buzz’ Radio Ink archives here.


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