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Craig Swagler on AI in Radio: If Audience Accepts It, There Could Be More

The advancement of AI in radio, particularly in on-air roles, is a divisive one in radio circles. Former CBS News Radio Vice President Craig Swagler believes it is up to the audience to reject it for AI to go away.

During an interview with WMAR-TV, the new Your Public Radio General Manager and President said the use of AI, like AI Ashley at Alpha Media Portland’s Live 95.5, isn’t likely to be widely adopted if listeners share their displeasure with the move.

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“There’s an expectation that the individual that is coming to you out of that speaker — in your car, in that very intimate environment — is someone you know,” Swagler said.

He continued by noting that while his stations aren’t currently considering using on-air AI technology, he admitted that if acceptance becomes the norm, it’s likely to continue.

“The audience is the voting democracy in many ways. So if they accept it, there could be more of an escalation of it, we’ll have to see how that turns out,” Swagler said.

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