More Comments on the Non-Human AI DJ



I hate the whole idea.  In fact, it makes me nauseous and scared for the future of radio.

Michael Robertson, founder of and, feels the same way.  Here’s what he wrote today in his blog about Denise, the non-human $200 computer program that made its debut on a Texas radio station today.

“I love a good DJ. I can remember staring at the boxy cassette radio waiting for that familiar voice to come on. While in college I was a routine caller – so often that one DJ agreed to meet for coffee which she ‘never does.’ The DJ went from San Diego to top tier in LA where she’s known as Ellen K. On Wed August 24th, 2011 the bell will toll for the beginning of the end of the music disc jockey and I’m going to tell you why and how you can listen in on this sad, momentous occasion.

“On tiny KROV in San Antonio “Denise” will debut. She’ll intro songs, give weather breaks and even tell a joke or two, but don’t expect any emotion. Forget about calling in to make friends or cajole her to add a track to rotation because Denise is the first robot DJ to take over a licensed AM/FM station. Denise is a computer program purchased for $200 who will be the DJ for a 3 hour time slot. You can record Denise’s first show by clicking the red record button from her show page. Thanks to you can listen at your convenience.

“There’s no denying that humans are expensive so a computer-driven substitute will surely save money. If all you want is song titles I suppose it’s OK, but radio has historically been personal – at least it feels personal. Maybe I’m being too nostalgic? There are no DJs at Pandora at all and people love that.

“I love new technology, but this feels like a sad development. We’ve even experiment with automated DJs at MP3tunes where you can mix news, weather, and sports into your own music. (See: But, I always thought of that as a supplement to FM and not a replacement.

“Give a listen to Denise’s first show and tell me if it’s the future of FM radio or the end of radio as we know it.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38420 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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