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Station Went AI For A Day. Listeners Said, 'Give Us Back Our Humans.'

While many broadcasters doubt that artificial intelligence-created radio can replace human hosts, a station in Switzerland recently put that idea to the test for 13 hours of its broadcast day.

As a programming experiment, the station, Radio Television Suisse's Couleur 3, ran AI-generated shows from 6am to 7pm on April 27th. During those hours, algorithm-driven music programs were hosted by the cloned voices of five hosts reading scripts created by ChatGPT and other AI text generators. The only non-AI content were any news bulletins.

Every 20 minutes during the programming, listeners were reminded – also by cloned voices – that the shows were AI-generated. One reminder said, “Our voice clones and AI are here to unsettle, surprise, and shake you. And for that matter, this text was also written by a robot."

While the AI programming aired, Couleur 3 invited listeners to share feedback on social media. While one message read, "It's impressive what we can do with this tool," others were more along the lines of "Give us back our humans!" and "It definitely doesn't replace humans," the latter sent during the first several hours.

According to ZDNet, RTS – which conducted the on-air experiment with the intent of determining AI's strengths and weaknesses and assessing its future applications for radio –would agree with those listener sentiments. "It's not easy distinguishing between a human and a robot speaking,” Couleur 3's Antoine Multone said. “However, this experiment also shows us that creativity, surprise, and humor remain human characteristics, and this reassures us, even though we had no doubt about it from the beginning of the project. This day shows us the way forward, working on added value and originality in our content."

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