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Survey Finds AI Use Is More Accepted By Audiences In Audio Than Other Media.

The spectacle of a robot co-presenting a major research study about AI drew a standing-room-only crowd Monday at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig delivered the results of research on audience perspectives on artificial intelligence use in media with Ameca, a sassy, autonomously AI-powered humanoid robot that cracked jokes and interacted with Anstandig and the crowd. 

Beyond the spectacle, the study reveals audiences expect that AI audio is more acceptable to podcast and radio listeners alike. Many already believe radio and TV are using AI or that they’ve experienced it on the air. The study shows many Americans believe AI will help media do a better job. When it comes to podcasts, 30% said AI will definitely improve their experience, while 45% think it could go either way. A quarter thinks it will hurt their podcast listening experience.

The survey of nearly 5,200 radio and TV news consumers across the U.S. conducted in partnership with CMG Custom Research found a significant portion of listeners show interest in customizing an AI voice's personality, content, tone, and language, A notable 45% of respondents expressed interest in personalizing the personality of AI-driven podcast or radio hosts. 

Anstandig thinks that indicates a desire for personalized listening experiences. Respondents even showed interest in customizing AI radio or podcast hosts, including by personality type (45%), content type (41%), and voice attributes like pitch/tone (37%) and gender (35%).

The study found that AI voices are often indistinguishable from human voices with a 60% chance of misidentification. In the study, 60% of the time listeners identified Futuri’s AudioAI voices as human and the human voices as AI. It’s probably why audiences that have used AI are receptive to its use in media, they just want full disclosure. 

“They’ll happily engage with AI, but you should be open about how AI is being used to create your content,” Anstandig said. “It can be done in a creative way; it doesn’t need to be overly formal – but it needs to be openly disclosed to build trust.” 

The study from Futuri, which has a dog in the AI hunt with its expanding Audio AI platform, shows that transparency is critical when using AI, with 90% saying it's important for media to disclose AI's role in content creation.

“Audiences willingly engage with transparently labeled AI, but bristle at perceived deception, mandating an honest, upfront approach,” Anstandig said. “The demand for clear disclosure when content is AI-generated is a common theme, reflecting concerns about authenticity and the potential for misinformation.”

High AI Awareness 

Nearly all consumers (94%) surveyed have heard of AI, underscoring its pervasiveness. Most of those aware of AI (56%) have direct experience using it. Users of AI hold strongly positive views, seeing it as innovative, futuristic, and efficiency-boosting. Non-users, meanwhile, harbor negative perceptions, fear job displacement, dystopian outcomes, and unsettling "uncanny valley" effects. 

“The striking contrast in responses underscores the transformative power of direct AI engagement in shaping attitudes,” Anstandig said. “If consumers are already using AI, they’ll want to keep using it.” 

Notable Findings About News 

Across the board, respondents said AI can improve media content, from music and news to weather forecasts. Overall, 42% of consumers and 45% of television news viewers believe AI can aid newsrooms in creating better news. However, three in ten news consumers believe AI is not beneficial in helping news outlets pick better stories. 

More than half of TV news viewers say AI will improve weather forecasts. Among the topics people say they are most comfortable with AI “reporting on” are entertainment, tech, sports, and local news.

“This underscores the potential of AI to elevate content quality and relevance,” Anstandig said. “With 78% indicating they would listen more if AI were to fill in gaps in broadcasting schedules.

Beyond AI, the survey showed nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed listen to podcasts or on-demand audio for news and information. Nine in 10 are listening to podcasts at least once per week, with 32% doing so daily, 46% a few times per week, and 12% once per week. Futuri says the most popular podcast types were comedy and news and information. Futuri says 89% of those surveyed listened to podcasts in both genres.

Download the full report HERE.

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