NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Welcome to The Nashville Dispatch, a feature on NRI NOW.
In this monthly column submitted by Burrillville native Keith Bradford, we cover topics in the music business designed to inform, entertain, and enlighten people interested in the topic.
Artificial Intelligence & Country Music
Several months ago, I tried an experiment at the Nashville Broadcasting Radio Network and the results astonished all of us here at the station. We launched two new shows. The Chad and Julia show airs on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. Central and The Maria Gonzales show airs every Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Central. Chad and Julia play their favorite songs and have guests from time to time read some news from Music Row. Maria does her entire show in Spanish and plays an all Tex-Mex music format. Instantly after broadcasting their first shows, the listeners started making requests and asking for them to make birthday announcements and other special occasions messages. The problem is, all three of them are AI voices generated from some highly sophisticated text to speech software I purchased on line.
Every word they say on the air is entered into a script that I hand type in. I use a translator program for the Spanish script for Maria. These guys do not push back, they do not ask for a raise, they don’t get drunk and they don’t breathe. How can they? They are robots.
As far as I know, we are the only 24/7 radio station that, in addition to human DJ’s, is using artificial intelligence on air personalities. Now here is where the real rub comes in. Their shows ratings are the highest at the station. They have more listeners than any other DJ on the air including myself.
The biggest challenge I have faced with all of this is when they asked me to be their guest on one of their shows. They conducted an interview with me in the studio and the final edited version of the event sounds like all three of us were sitting at the console having a conversation. I am not telling this story to brag or say, “Hey look at what I can do.” I am merely bringing an awareness to how much artificial intelligence is being used in the media and the public doesn’t even know it. Until this article is published, the truth about Chad, Julia and Maria was a secret.
The Music Business – Ya Gotta Luv It
Keith Bradford is the host of Ya Gotta Love It, a country music show on NBRN based in Nashville, Tenn. Also a singer and song writer, Bradford is the owner and operator of KMA Records in Nashville and brings more than 60 years of industry knowledge to the endeavor.
Do you have questions about the music business? Have a topic or artist you’d like Keith to discuss? Send your questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.