A San Antonio radio station is putting artificial intelligence behind the microphone.
"Denise," a computer program that can give the weather, play music and even tell jokes, takes to the airwaves next week on station KROV. She needs help from a scriptwriter, but at a cost of $200 is a lot cheaper than hiring a fulltime human staff, says Dominique Garcia, the radio personality who bought and programmed Denise.
"A lot of radio DJs are pretty upset with me because it does work," Garcia told MSNBC's John Roach.
Denise can't fill airspace by herself and sounds a "tad robotic," Garcia acknowledges. But she also won't stick her foot in her mouth, say things that inspire boycotts or command a big salary. She won't even need restroom breaks.
"The idea and concept was never meant to blatantly disrespect any of my colleagues by creating a situation in which would place their jobs in jeopardy," Gacia blogged on mysanantonio.com. "My intention was solely to reinvent a possible new method of automation.”