An AI-powered DJ for streaming services and radio? Yes.

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Great. Robots are now coming for my job.

One of the downsides to streaming is that there is little or no emphasis on context. Music comes in one ear and comes out the other without explaining why the song is worth your time, who the artist is, who is playing on the track, and all the other information that makes a song more meaningful. We’ve also virtually eliminated cover notes and artwork.

This, for me, devalues ​​the music and the work necessary for its creation. I have spent my entire career trying to make music a richer music listening experience by providing information, background, and context to songs. This is one of the advantages that radio has (or at least should have) over streaming: humans talk to humans about music in a human way.

Despite all the bragging about streaming companies trying to kill radio, they actually want to become more like this. Enter Super Hi-Fi.

Described as “artificial neural disc jockeys talking to you live,” Super Hi-Fi works with a text-to-speech company called WellSaid. ANDY (which sort of means “Aartificial NOTeural Disk-Jockeys Speaks To You Live “) is an effort to” create realistic radio stations with a human voice and perfect production quality … almost indistinguishable from a leading commercial radio station and includes music footage, breaking news, weather forecast, and commercials.

Okay, but if it’s text-to-speech, you still need someone to produce the text, right? Is this what today’s radio stations will be reduced to? Write for a robot voice?

Super Hi-Fi already works with Sonos Radio, iHeartRadio, Peleton and Napster. Here are some examples of how it sounds.

Yuck. I hate that. For obvious reasons.

This is not the first time that the DJ has been threatened with extinction. In 2020, a company called Radiant struck a deal with Spotify that included an AI DJ performing songs. (Her name was “Rad”, of course.) And ten years ago, I wrote about Denise, an AI DJ used by a station in Texas. I hated it too.

Beautiful. I want this to fail, again for obvious reasons.


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