Editor’s note: ChatGPT is a prototype artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI. Graham invited it to “write” something on creativity and challenges in radio. Can you identify which of the following paragraphs are Graham’s and which are the bot’s?
The radio industry is facing several challenges this year. One of the biggest challenges is the increasing competition from other forms of media, such as streaming services and online radio. As more and more people turn to these alternative sources for their entertainment and information, traditional radio is struggling to maintain its audience share.
Another trend in the radio industry is the increasing use of artificial intelligence and automation. AI can help to automate many of the tasks associated with running a radio station, such as scheduling and playlist creation. This can free up time for radio professionals to focus on creating engaging content and building relationships with their audience.
Radio depends on creativity, engagement with others’ life experiences, and the surprising, personal touch. As more automation becomes possible, following in the footsteps of music rotation, let’s keep the creative spark alive. It’s the unusual moment, the quirky turn of phrase, the personality which speaks to us — all of this makes radio special and develops the relationship with audiences.
AI can free up time for radio professionals to focus on creating engaging content and building relationships with their audience.
The city of Austin in Texas in the United States has the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” Perhaps this is the moment for a similar slogan for radio: “Keep Radio Quirky/Personal/Surprising.” That’s not a bad theme for 2023, with ever-increasing competition for our ears, on many platforms coming from rationally constructed playlists and streams. These present serious challenges to notions of creativity.
One way that radio stations are trying to combat these challenges is by offering more diverse and specialized content. For example, many stations are now offering podcasts and other on-demand content, which allows listeners to access content whenever they want. This can help to increase engagement and keep listeners coming back for more.
Despite these challenges, there are still many opportunities for radio to thrive in the coming year. For example, the rise of smart speakers and in-car infotainment systems is creating new opportunities for radio to reach audiences in new ways. Additionally, the continued popularity of live events, such as concerts and sports games, provides opportunities for radio to provide coverage and engage with listeners in real time.
A musician friend of mine once amusingly recounted that his teacher critiqued his performance by saying, “too many right notes, not enough sweat.” Most of us working in radio don’t want too many errors, but in the end, the passion for the medium and communicating with audiences will shine through.
At least for me, the new sophistication of the AI phenomenon and its indisputable plausibility means that the impact of AI must become a major theme, and not only for the radio industry, in the coming year.
Surely, it can be positive in directing listeners to appropriate content. But how far should it be unleashed? The superficial fluency can be extremely deceptive, but we need to ask ourselves whether the text contains genuine content and insight, or might we become satisfied with what has been described as “fluent BS.” Fluent it certainly is — but does it say anything? We definitely need to keep AI in our sights as the year progresses.
The author was head of Radio at the EBU until 2020, and before that managing editor of one of the BBC’s national stations. He currently advises media organizations, such as Radioplayer and the European Digital Radio Alliance. Read other articles authored by Graham Dixon here.
[Graham wrote paragraphs 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9]