A radio station cloned its host into an AI DJ, social media unimpressed

The station is reportedly using RadioGPT, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology.
Sejal Sharma
AI Ashley (left) and Ashley Elzinga (right)
AI Ashley (left) and Ashley Elzinga (right)

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Live 95.5, a Portland-based radio station, announced on Tuesday, June 20, that AI Ashley, a cloned version of its midday anchor Ashley Elzinga, will do her show for five hours every day.

“Be sure to catch both versions of Ashley on your radio or smart speaker, weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm,” said the radio channel in an Instagram post.

The station is reportedly using RadioGPT, which is an artificial intelligence (AI) driven localized radio content solution developed by Futuri. The Interesting Engineering earlier reported that RadioGPT is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology, Futuri’s AI-driven social content system called TopicPulse, and AI voice tech.

The radio station tweeted: “We made history as the world's first radio station with an AI DJ! Our midday host Ashley has become AI Ashley! We can’t wait for you to meet Ashley, the world's first artificially intelligent DJ. As to the intelligence of our other DJ’s…we’ll save that for another post ;)”

Social media underwhelmed

It feels as though only the radio station is excited about the announcement. The comments section on Instagram and Twitter is filled with jibes. “Oh, it's "live"... just not "a-live,” commented one user on Live 95.5’s Twitter post.

The post also has a video of Ashley introducing the AI Ashley, who as per one user, spoke in a monotone voice and sounded ‘flat.’ “No emotion, no excitement, no, dare I say, humanity?” the user wrote.

Ashley also insinuated that she won’t have to go on air for the rest of the day as AI Ashley will take over the remainder of her shift. She signed off saying, “I guess I have the day off.” A user commented, “Ashley, for now, you have the Day Off— but aren’t you worried you’ll have ALL the days off now that they cloned you?”

AI taking over jobs

In 2020, Texas-based iHeartMedia laid off hundreds of people and invested in artificial intelligence. Companies replacing humans with AI is a big cause of worry. Live 95.5 said that it isn’t fully replacing Ashley with her clone, reported TechCrunch.

But Live 95.5 isn’t the first radio channel to experiment with artificial intelligence taking over a show. In April, a French-language radio station Couleur 3 (Color 3) used five AI-generated voices to present news and aired music entirely produced by computers. The voices were cloned by Respeecher, a voice cloning software. ChatGPT and other AI algorithms were used to generate material for AI voices to speak, reported Interesting Engineering.

Ashley is also not the first public figure to be cloned amid this race to establish relevancy in the AI space. Last month, we reported that Snapchat influencer Caryn Marjorie's team of developers had cloned her into an AI. She had claimed that she can easily make $5 million a month from just talking to people online.

While this may be a lucrative arrangement for Caryn, AI is hurting people's jobs across industries. Earlier this month, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), one of the largest nonprofits dedicated to eating disorders, replaced its human associates with an AI chatbot that was tasked with providing support to people with eating disorders. However, the move backfired after the chatbot 'Tessa' went rogue and gave problematic information to people dealing with eating disorders. NEDA had to roll back the chatbot after a soft launch.

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