Radio Ink At SXSW Thursday: How Will AI Deliver The News?


(By Charese Fruge’) Hello again from Austin! After my less-than-stellar break into AI song production on Day 1 of Radio Ink‘s SXSW coverage, Thursday seemed like a great time to attend some industry mentoring sessions. Whether you’re interested in the airplay, streaming, marketing, artist, musician, management, legal, or technical side of the music industry, there was a session for you. 

Michele Solomon, from SiriusXM/Pandora’s AMP platform gave guidance alongside Michael Star from Glassnote Records, Rose Campbell from SoundCloud, Judy Tent, Counselor at Law, Leslie Rosales of label HIGH STANDARDz, and Marielle Jade Te of Media Arts Lab. 

Next was The Hollywood Activism session with legendary activist David Fenton, Hollywood icon Jane Fonda, and climate behavioral scientist Sweta Chakraborty sharing their secrets to creating real and meaningful change. The masterminds behind freeing Nelson Mandela, Fire Drill Fridays and We Don’t Have Time shared how to use media and communication to mobilize the public for meaningful action and policy progress.

One thing about this year’s SXSW: there’s always time for more AI talk.

With AI’s use in the media, particularly in news, a point of curiosity and concern, I sat in on a demo of Curio AI. Curio is pitched as an AI-powered news co-pilot providing a “trusted,” custom news experience. Curio already works with some of the biggest media publications including The WSJ, Economist, FT, Atlantic, Guardian, and WIRED to produce high-quality journalism that fits with “your” schedule, so it must be trustworthy, right?

Sheila Dang, a tech reporter at Reuters, took us through how the technology works and what impact it could have on both society and democracy. It was a look at how AI could not only be beneficial for news brands across the country but also how it could change the way we source and report news.

Finally, the day was capped off with The Recording Academy Texas Chapter’s famous annual SXSW Grammy Block Party on the banks of the Colorado River.

The party kicked off with an address by Taylor Hanson – yes, the ’90s Hanson Taylor Hanson – who is now President of the Board of the Texas GRAMMYs Chapter.

Wanda Adams, a Houston native and one of the most acclaimed Gospel singers of all time, and other Texas musicians and bands who have been nominated for GRAMMYs appeared and performed. Fresh off their acclaimed NPR Tiny Desk Performance, Austin-based BLK ODYSSY closed out the night.


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