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This Local DJ Just Lost Her Job to a Robot. The Future of Radio Has Arrived.
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By News
Published 4 years ago on
January 31, 2020

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Monisha “Mo” Mann, a former nighttime DJ for popular Fresno music station B95, announced her layoff on Instagram earlier this month alongside a live stream. She is one of hundreds of workers fired across the country in a downsizing by the station’s corporate owner, iHeartRadio.

The conglomerate said the staff cuts were needed to allow the company to take full advantage of its “investments in technology and artificial intelligence.”
In 2018, some stations on the online iHeartRadio service began testing a music-mixing AI system built by the start-up Super Hi-Fi, which says it can “understand music nuances with the same depth as a human DJ.”

Computers Will Likely Replace Human Voices

The system can transition in real time between songs by layering in music, sound effects, prerecorded voice-over snippets and ads, delivering the style of smooth, seamless playback that has long been the human DJ’s trade. The Los Angeles-based Super Hi-Fi, says its “computational music presentation” AI can help erase the seconds-long gaps between songs that can lead to “a loss of energy, lack of continuity and disquieting sterility.”
In addition, experts say it won’t be long before human voices give way to computer-generated versions, automatically reading off the news, teeing up interviews and introducing songs.
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