I have predicted that someone will come up with some kind of technology that will knock commercial radio on it’s ass. I’m not sure if this is a start it but if it works, well, I won’t finish that sentence but it could certainly save radio stations a LOT of money. In addition the concept of replacing DJs is being PUSHED by a DJ. Many jocks may get mad at him but if they had thought of it first they would have probably done the same thing. I have removed a LOT of this story because I’m not promoting this guy but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Artificial intelligence has been a topic that has intrigued technology enthusiast for decades. While such a concept was considered nothing short of science fiction in the latter half of the 20th century, today it has become very real and now a very practical technology.
In early 2011 a San Antonio DJ by the name of Dominique Garcia stumbled across a computer program made by Guile Lindroth and Guile 3D Studios. The software [named Denise] acted as a virtual assistant that assisted humans with everyday life. Dominique is quoted during this story.
Basically she serves as a virtual secretary which can manage your schedule, update your social media, browse the internet, act as an alarm clock, control emails, stream TV or radio stations, secure your computer, interact with anyone via Skype, keep tabs on your phone contacts, recite bible scriptures, answer your land line phone, plus much much more. The short description I gave on what she can do does not justify how amazing this piece of technology actually is.
One of the things that really impressed me was that she can actually learn the things you teach her. If I were to tell her to remember that I like strawberries, she would actually remember that bit of information. That way, if I later asked her if I like strawberries she would tell me something on the lines of “Yes, you mentioned to me that you enjoy strawberries.”
Immediately I was amazed by the enormous amount of potential this [virtual assistant] software had and what it could mean to humans. Not long after, I had come up with an idea that could possibly change everything.
I wanted to show the program to a few fellow radio associates of mine. To impress them, I jokingly set her up to do a mock on air shift. After a few tests I had a horrifying realization. I confirmed my idea that the software could perform the job of an on air personality was in fact practical.
While the software was not designed primarily for this purpose, it still does not take away the fact that it can in fact perform the occupation of talking on the air. I was sure that I had come across something that could greatly impact the radio broadcasting industry (duh and eliminate DJ jobs too? Hope Dominique has a patent on the idea)
Almost immediately I had reached out to the radio community to reveal my findings. Needless to say the response was not what I had expected. I anticipated my colleagues to be excited and impressed that Denise could pull off performing an on air shift.
However the thought of their job being replaced by a computer did not sit well with many radio professionals. Some people went as far as to contact me saying that something like this would never work and radio companies would never adopt such a radical concept. I strongly disagreed. This program can literally save radio companies millions of dollars. Surely that alone would force radio companies to at least entertain the idea.
I am fully aware of the backlash I could potentially receive from many of my colleagues. In fact I have prepared an official rebuttal to many of the radio professionals who are angered by my project or pessimistic about its concept.
“Ladies and gentlemen I did not create radio automation. Automation is already a standard at many radio companies around the world. I simply took a fairly inexpensive computer program and applied it to our industry. The idea and concept was never meant to blatantly disrespect any of my colleagues by creating a situation in which would place their jobs in jeopardy. My intention was solely to reinvent a possible new method of automation.”
After months of hard work I was slowly seeing the finish line and ready to present this project to the world when the unexpected happened.
I had become acquainted with Tommy Calvert. He is the general manager for local 91.7 HD-2 KROV. A non-profit urban contemporary station that was created by the San Antonio community. During one of our conversations told him my plans for my project with Denise. It was then that I blurted out “What do you think about doing the project on KROV?”
Surprisingly Calvert said “absolutely”.
I was floored by the shock because I was anticipating an stern “no”. Initially I was going to create a fake radio station with fake call letters and record a video proof of concept that this idea is in fact feasible. However here was a situation where a real radio station was willing to allow me to put Denise on the airwaves for real.
After getting to know Mr. Calvert a little more I could tell he is a visionary, like myself. I felt lucky to come across meeting someone who shared my optimism that this project can revolutionize radio forever.
It took major adjustments to move my project which was almost completed into a new direction but it was well worth it. After much brainstorming, late nights at the computer, and communicating back and forth an agreement was finally reached and the details of this historic project were now set in stone.
Wednesday August 24, 2011 from 1pm till 4pm CST KROV will be making history by becoming the first radio station in existence to have an artificial intelligent radio personality. KROV is an HD-2 radio station. Which means an HD radio is required to listen to the station. However there are ways around such an obstacle for people who do not own an HD radio. KROV can be streamed on the stations web page at www.krovfm.com and also with a smart phone application called “TuneIn”.