AI Still Not Taking Off With Podcasters, Survey Finds

If there’s one thing that podcasters can’t seem to agree on right now, it’s whether AI is the best or worst news for the industry.

There’s a whole lot of hype around AI right now – and even more new AI tools for podcasters popping up. It’s easy to assume everyone’s excited about the technology.

But when you dig down and ask the podcasting community directly, it turns out a lot of creators aren’t so convinced.

And how do we know this?

Well, we’ve been running a short AI survey with the readers of our posts. In just a few weeks, the survey pulled in more than 500 responses from podcasters ranging from newbies to seasoned creators.

But while podcasters are clearly keen to talk about AI, the majority (58%) told us they aren’t using AI tools like ChatGPT in their podcast process. 

We looked closely at the hundreds of comments we got in response to why podcasters choose not to use AI when creating their show. There were a few running themes throughout the responses – here’s what they were.

7 Reasons Why Some Podcasters Aren’t Using AI 

1. Podcasters Don’t Know How to Use AI in Their Workflow Yet

If you subscribe to our Podcraft Perspectives newsletter, you’ll know that we write about AI-powered podcasting technology a lot. You’ll also (hopefully) know that we don’t do this to push you into using the technology. We do it to keep you informed on how AI is evolving, how it impacts you as a podcaster, and what it means for the future of podcasting

Looking at the results of the survey, there are still a lot of podcasters who are in the dark about AI. We saw lots of responses like “don’t know what it is“, “don’t know how to use it“, “not explored yet“, and even “never heard of it“. 

Some creators were aware of the technology but said they weren’t sure how it would fit into their current process: “Just haven’t figured out how to work it into workflow,” one respondent said. And another: “Haven’t got along with the tech yet“. 

If you’d like to understand more about how to bring AI into your podcast workflow, here’s a guide on the best AI podcasting tools to try. Or you can subscribe to our newsletter for podcasting AI news updates that you need to know about.

2. Podcasters Think It’s Unethical to Use AI in Podcasting

Back in March, we reported on a study by Acast that showed 15% of listeners thought it was unethical for podcasters to use AI in the creation process. Interestingly, no creators involved in that study thought using AI was unethical. 

However, according to our new survey, some of you do believe that using tools like ChatGPT to create content is unethical. 

Responses related to ethics ranged from “I don’t support AI in creative work“, “it should be your own findings not an AI“, “AI writing services are an ethically questionable practice”, “it’s plagiarism, there’s ethical issues” to a simple “that’s cheating“.

So clearly, some podcasters are resisting using AI out of principle too. 

3. They Don’t Need AI to Create Their Podcast

Ethics aside, some respondents to the survey said they simply don’t need AI to support them with creating their podcasts. They’re getting on just fine by themselves. 

I am the creator, don’t need help from AI” one podcaster said, and another told us “I don’t need [AI]…I can read, think and write for myself.

Some podcasters also made it clear that the tools they already have in their arsenal are doing the job without the need for an added AI element. One respondent said, “I have other tools that help me already”, and another said, “I have software to do it on my own“.

4. Podcasters Feel Threatened By AI

There’s no denying that we’re living in some crazy times right now. AI is developing at such a rapid pace, and inevitably, this is going to cause some anxiety. 

There were a lot of comments around the issue of trust: “Lack of trust“, “Not trustworthy“, and one podcaster even said, “[AI] scares the crap out of me“.

One respondent to the survey, who disclosed that they’re a podcast editor, told us, “I fear the AI uprising will eventually put me out of a job“.

At this stage, it’s impossible to predict the disruption AI will cause, not just in the podcasting industry, but in the world at large. One thing I am confident about, however, is that AI is never going to replace podcasters themselves.   

5. They Think AI Takes Away from the Creative Experience

It was pretty clear from responses to the survey that many podcasters don’t want to use AI in their workflow. They’re enjoying the whole process too much – particularly the creative parts:

I want to do it myself

I wanna have total control

I prefer my authentic ideas

Why do I when I can still use my brain for creativity!

I feel it takes away from the creative experience

AI kills creativity

It’s no surprise that so many creators responded in this way. We know that the most successful podcasts are those that have a real authentic passion and drive behind them. Why start a podcast about something you love, then hand over the reins to AI?

Relying on AI too heavily would take part of that creative experience away from you. But there are ways you can still use AI without sacrificing any of the creative process – here are some examples.

6. They Don’t Think AI Technology is Up to The Challenge 

Sure, technology is evolving at a rapid pace. But according to our survey, many of you think AI is still not up to the challenge of supporting your podcast process.  

Some highlighted the challenges they’ve experienced when using tools like chatGPT, with one respondent saying “ChatGPT sometimes provides duplicate sentences for certain questions or topics, and it would hence sound repetitive for the listener“. 

One podcaster said ChatGPT “won’t suggest anything unique enough and needs too much fact checking right now“, and another said, “ChatGPT is not helpful to create actual meaning in writing. It’s a guessing algorithm.”

However, while ChatGPT certainly isn’t perfect, the technology is getting smarter every day. It’s likely these sorts of challenges won’t exist for podcasters in the very near future.

And if you’re having trouble getting value out of tools like ChatGPT, try these ChatGPT prompts for podcasters.

7. They Think Podcasting is a Human Medium

One of the most interesting themes in the survey comments was that many of you think AI is at odds with podcasting because podcasting is inherently such a human medium.  

There were many responses about the lack of authenticity in using AI to generate content and the importance of the human experience in podcasting. If you’ve read our piece on why AI will never replace you as a podcaster, you’ll know we’re in the same camp. 

A few interesting comments we received on this particular point:

“Ideas, thoughts, and written/spoken expression should come from an individual’s mind

I’m talking about stuff based on my own personal research and experience

“I prefer and enjoy human interaction and challenging my own humanity

I’m talking about stuff based on my own personal research and experience

“My writing is better, more nuanced, and showcases a human perspective that can’t be regurgitated by AI

But I think my personal favourite was this one, which was submitted in Portuguese:

Somos seres humanos, dialogando com outros seres humanos

Somewhat ironically, I used Google Translate (an AI-powered tool!) to learn what this means:

We are human beings, dialoguing with other human beings“. Nice.  

Want to Have Your Say?

It’s not too late to get involved. Take our short survey below to add your voice to the AI discussion:

Originally posted on July 19, 2023 @ 12:25 am

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