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Aug 22 2011

Automation? It’s not for humans anymore.

Every now and again, something about this business frosts whatever cookies I haven’t tossed. It’s the kind of thing that makes one ask, “What the hell are you thinking?” or, better yet, W.T.F.?

Meet Denise.

First I should congratulate (with clenched teeth) Mr. Dominique Garcia for having the intelligence to come up with such a thing. What has he done? He’s taken a “virtual assistant” software created by Guile 3D Studios and groomed her as an on-air personality. Denise will do her first airshift on the HD2 channel of Trinity University’s KRTU-FM (91.7). Denise is so “smart” she can “learn” things you teach her. You can have her browse the internet, update your Facebook, talk on Skype or even read the Bible to you. (Gee, has anyone thought of replacing Lay Readers in church? I’m sure she’d show up when she’s scheduled…)

Garcia seems surprised that more radio programmers aren’t embracing his idea. “Surprisingly she is quite inexpensive,” he wrote for Radio-Info’s “On the Mic.” The program ranges from $99.00 to a few hundred dollars. Garcia gloats that for roughly $200.00 a station has bought itself a “lifetime jock” – one that doesn’t require a salary, never gets sick and can be on the air 24/7. Although human assistance would be needed, Garcia says it would be no different than voice tracking. 

If you want to listen to Denise, she’ll be on the air on KROV-HD2 beginning this Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Not that I’m endorcing this act, mind you. I am going more along the lines of Alan Cross. And I can’t wait for Denise to be programmed to use some of Mr. Cross’ choice words. Of course, she reads the Bible, so maybe not.