ENCO Systems is at the NAB Show with two new products that use ChatGPT. We asked President Ken Frommert about how artificial intelligence is making itself felt in new ways in radio.
Radio World: How does ENCO employ AI for radio broadcast applications?
Ken Frommert: AI has been a natural evolution for ENCO from a product development standpoint. We were among the first industry vendors to bring automated playout solutions to broadcasters. That includes radio and TV, where we have long provided automation solutions for audio playout.
Three decades later, we are at the forefront of AI development in the form of automated captioning solutions. That includes enCaption for Radio, which uses AI and machine learning technology to create speech data for live captioning of radio broadcasts and streams.
That same speech data can now be sent to our enTranslate cloud or on-premises solution for translation; those translated captions are then distributed as text via its websocket, which broadcasters can reformat for adaptation to a web frame, iFrame or other closed captioning channels. This is all made possible through AI-driven automated workflows.
RW: What are the benefits to you, or to your client, of using AI in this way?
Frommert: AI is interesting because there has been quicker adoption and acceptance of the technology than preceding “game-changers” like IP and the cloud. That is not at all a knock on IP and cloud; it is just a recognition of how broadcasters very carefully approach technologies that genuinely shake up tried-and-true workflows. Disruption is what moves industries and people forward, and like IP and the cloud AI is a disruptive technology. The difference is that the benefits of AI are more immediately apparent in terms of how they help broadcasters, and more affordable when you look at the point of entry. AI is a technology that can be thoughtfully integrated into products that solve problems and create new opportunities today, rather than require a multi-year migration plan for both the supplier and consumer.
We have two very exciting AI innovations that we have unveiled on the show floor. Both leverage ChatGPT, a new language model introduced in November that generates language responses from text-based queries. One is called AITrack, which integrates with our DAD radio automation system to generate and insert voice tracks in between songs. That might include identifying the song and artist of the previous song, introducing the next song and artist, or communicating station IDs, and news or weather updates. Users can adjust the length of each automated voice track, and AITrack will do the work.
A second ChatGPT-based solution, ENCO-GPT, will automatically create ad copy and summarize news stories. For the latter, the application will summarize a written news article into a few sentences, or inject breaking news updates into a body of a break. This technology can also be used to quickly write copy for both sponsorships and advertising and convert it to synthetic speech allowing a station to expand upon its voice talent.
[Read More Radio World Stories About Artificial Intelligence]
RW: What else are you highlighting?
Frommert: We are showing our new enCaption5 platform for TV and radio, which also provides open captioning in AV environments for corporate, education, government, venues and other verticals. enCaption5 also integrates enTranslate as a plug-in for the first time, so broadcasters can use both software-defined services within a common platform either on-prem or in the cloud.
RW: How do you think AI — either generational AI or otherwise — may change radio workflows in the future?
Frommert: AI will continue to automate more content from creation to delivery. It is that simple.
RW: Do you have any concerns about AI; if so what are they?
Frommert: AI is still an emerging technology and is far from perfect. It will take time to reach the quality and accuracy levels that the broadcast industry requires and expects. Our integration of AI within enCaption has reached more than acceptable levels for closed captioning, and even that will continue to improve over time with each new generation of technology.
One concern to alleviate is that AI will make everyone’s job obsolete. Like automation before it, AI will change operational models and perhaps disrupt some traditional structures, but AI cannot survive in broadcast alone. That human element will always be required for quality assurance. Broadcasting is a mission-critical business, and I would bet that new jobs and responsibilities will emerge across the production workflow that we can’t even imagine today because of AI.