AI comes for the podcasters

There are a lot of podcasts. About 4 million, to be exact. From old roommates to distant relatives to yours truly, starting a podcast has become a right of passage into adulthood. 

Driving the news: And now, the generative AI boom is set to contribute even more audio content to an already endless library of podcast options. Per Wired, AI-generated podcasts have officially arrived, whether—you know—anyone actually wants them or not. 

Why it matters: AI-generated content likely won’t soar to the top of the charts anytime soon, not just because podcasting platforms may end up banning it, but because its highest and best use might look more like shows that summarize stories, like Hacker News Recap.

  • It’s worth noting that podcasters have already openly embraced AI in more subtle ways, like for help with research, script writing, editing, or recording their ads. 

Some not-so-legit uses that have emerged, too. One recently AI-generated conversation between Joe Rogan and Sam Altman has racked up over 500,000 views on YouTube. The Joe Rogan AI Experience also includes episodes with other (fake) guests like Donald Trump.

  • It’s not yet clear whether these types of podcasts stick around, given the limitations around the content itself and legally using another person’s voice or likeness.

Bottom line: Most creators are experimenting with AI right now because it’s the fun thing to do. “Apart from listening to the podcast because of its technological advancement, there’s no point,” the fake Joe Rogan podcast’s creator told Wired. “It’s just wasted time.”—SB