In March 2023, I began an experiment to see what would happen if I used AI to assist in delivering every element of an audio production task. To help structure the experiment, I created a sitcom called Made in AI, a podcast that follows a ridiculous family of AI robots running riot on Earth. Every story is outrageous, from stealing all the money in the world to running for the presidency, but the science underpinning the plots is built on near future AI capabilities.
This experiment has had its fair share of failures:
But above all that, the experiment has provided valuable insight into how AI can radically change any production flow.
I learned that implementing a little AI here and there, almost plugging it into the production flow as I saw fit, was not the solution. I had to unlearn everything I knew about production flows and design a new one with AI at its core.
Below are five places where I use AI to streamline process and enhance efficiency while maintaining human editorial control.
Using GPT-4 on my phone, I discovered I could have AI-powered brainstorming sessions while out walking. GPT-4 can suggest unique and engaging topics or themes for the show, or I could ask for variations on past successes. AI assists me in creating initial script ideas. It can suggest narrative structures and character development. I can refine and edit these AI-generated ideas to align with my creative vision and standards. I never write a script, as I like to write text directly into voice synthesis tools to provide instant feedback.
AI synthesis tools provide the voices for my sitcom. They enable me to cast voices instantly, adjust how they sound and even clone them. I can type my ideas directly into the tool and hear how they sound. I can make suggestions to tone and style to achieve the outcome I'm looking for. Over the last eight months of using these tools I have seem them advance dramatically. Soon, they will be able to accurately emulate human speech.
I use music sparingly in my production, but when I do, I use AI to create the tracks and, where possible, to remove elements such as drums or bass from the song. AI can make suggestions for music and SFX, which I find helpful, and in some cases, the recommendations take me down new and unexpected paths.
Ninety per cent of the time I spend on making Made in AI is spent on editing. AI sits at the heart of enabling me to manipulate, process and assemble audio in more efficient ways (an I know as I started my life editing audio using tape).
My AI experiment has more than halved the time for production whilst giving me a balance between technological and human creativity. AI tools support all my creative and technical processes, greatly enhancing efficiency.
So, if you are planning to use AI in your workflow, whether making a podcast or a major TV production, start by understanding what AI is available and then reimage your workflow with AI at the heart.