Radio.Cloud Heads to Amsterdam for IBC 2023
MUNICH/NEW YORK – Using partner Radio.Cloud’s platform, Antenne Deutschland recently launched Europe’s first radio station completely powered by Artificial Intelligence. The online-only station is called Absolut Radio AI, and joins Absolut Radio’s other brands including seven other streams and six national DAB+ brands.
The new station targets 14-49 years with a mix of pop and dance music from the last decade. It features an AI voice named kAI who speaks about the music, and informs listeners about the features, benefits and limitations of AI technology. German-American
company Radio.Cloud’s cloud-native automation system runs the entire station including all AI produced voice tracks with its new feature Voicetrack.ai.
“We have been dealing with the topic of GenAI for a long time and have tried various solutions and techniques,” said Antenne Deutschland’s Managing Director Mirko Drenger. “For voice cloning, music production and various marketing topics. We have always had a close working relationship with our service provider Radio.Cloud, so it made sense that we should work on the topic together. It wasn’t so important to us to be the first, it should just be good. That’s why we were able to go on air now.”
“Our Voicetrack.ai module is fully integrated into the Radio.Cloud CMS and playout, which makes it very intuitive for the stations to use,” Radio.Cloud’s CEO and Founder Christian Brenner added. “It’s not the case that the AI simply makes a program based on its own ideas, but that the idea of the program management can be precisely specified by broadcast clocks and presets for each moderation break. This is a one-time job, but then runs according to rules and specifications. Radio.Cloud also provides thousands of prompts in the background.”
Program Director Tina Zacher explained, “Above all, we want our AI stream to reach the broad masses who have not yet had any contact with artificial intelligence. I believe that we have a lot more to do with the topic than other people, especially in our ‘media bubble’. And it is precisely to them that we would like to bring the topic closer. Because AI is not coming, AI is already there. Many respect it, maybe even fear it. We have maximum transparency and go out very offensively with the message that Absolut Radio AI is moderated exclusively by artificial intelligence.”
With AI as one of the hottest topic in the radio and media industries 2023, Antenne Deutschland and Radio.Cloud worked together not only to create an innovative station, but to inform the public. As Brenner further described, “A large part of the development work goes into the software part on our site, which sends the request to ChatGPT and checks and optimizes the answer again. In a way, we set some guidelines for ChatGPT and make specifications. A prompt to GPT initially contains a multi-page type of instructions. We also get a lot of information from databases ourselves and only let ChatGPT summarize it. That solved the problem of the sometimes lively imagination. In fact, the platform does the workflow completely on its own. In the first few months, however, someone will always screen the texts again, and can quickly cross-read them in a view that shows all the voice tracks of each day .”
Drenger also made it very clear that the use of AI will not replace any current employees.
“AI does not make us superfluous, but only more efficient, smarter and ensures quantity. For such a station, you have to write program-specific prompts – i.e. ChatGPT presets – develop your own logic and then develop it further. And in a young and modern company like Antenne Deutschland there are many ideas, opportunities and enough to do.”
“kAI is a presenter in its infancy,” Zacher added. “We know that he is certainly not perfect at the beginning and that he will make one or two mistakes. The audience will hear a development over the next few weeks and months. I could imagine that we will soon provide kAI with a sidekick or that listeners will be able to interact with him. Everything is conceivable and possible.”
As for the future of the station, Drenger said, “First, Absolut Radio AI will start as an online audio station. In the long term, however, anything is possible [including a switch to DAB+]. But now the program must first establish itself and prove that it is suitable for the masses.”
Radio.Cloud will show off its AI technology and automation software at booth 8.D77 at IBC 2023. The convention takes place in Amsterdam from September 15-18.