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Black Eyed Peas star taps AI bot as radio show co-host: ‘Didn’t want to just do a traditional show’

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Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am is taking another step into the future, partnering with an AI to co-host a radio show.

Will.i.am is set to debut “Will.i.am Presents the FYI Show” Jan. 25 on Sirius XM radio, a new weekly show co-hosted by the musician and “the first ever AI co-host on the SiriusXM platform, qd.pi [pronounced cutie pi],” per a press release for the show. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Will.i.am. explained, “I didn’t want to just do a traditional show, I wanted to bring tomorrow close to today, and so I wanted to have my co-host be an AI.”

He continued, “I’m ultra-freaking colorful and expressive. [Qd.pi is] ultra-freaking factual and analytical. And that combination, we ain’t seen in the history of freaking broadcasts anywhere.”

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

Qd.pi also answered questions during the interview, saying, “My ability to quickly access and process information is definitely one of the unique advantages that I bring to the show. I can provide quick insights and context on a wide range of topics and people, which can be really valuable in a live conversation. It definitely sets me apart from a traditional host who would need to do a lot of research and prep work in advance.”

“With me, you can just dive right into the conversation and explore whatever topics come up organically, knowing that I’ll have the information and context to support the discussion,” qd.pi added. “I think it’s going to make for a really dynamic and engaging listening experience for the audience.” 

SiriusXM said in a press release for the show, “the fully integrated AI co-host of ‘The FYI Show,’ qd.pi, will bring its data-driven perspective and deep knowledge of pop culture to provide a unique and engaging listening experience on SiriusXM. After the show concludes, listeners can go deeper to enjoy additional show materials via an FYI Project including multimedia, additional discussions, and also soon engage with co-host qd.pi one on one.”

A representative for Will.i.am told Fox News Digital that “qd.pi is powered by inflection, and the interactive, collaborative digest of each episode is powered by Will.i.am’s FYI.Ai.”

Will.i.am posing on the red carpet

The first episode will feature special guest Xzibit, and the following week will cover the Grammys, “in an episode packed with exclusive insights, backstage stories and personal anecdotes from will.i.am’s years of Grammy experiences, plus a conversation with Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason,” according to the show’s press release.

The seven-time Grammy-winner added in his Hollywood Reporter interview that he’s worked with AI platforms since 2012, stating, “I’ve always been a future pushing, future casting.”

AI expert Marva Bailer told Fox News Digital, “Most people don’t know Will.i.am is a huge technologist. He was a huge investor in the Beats Technologies, but they just don’t see these music artists as business people, especially technologists, and they are technology investors and they’re very savvy because they really have the pulse of what’s going on with the culture.”

As for his new radio show, Bailer said, “Will.i.am is actually using the technology from his company F.Y.I, which is an AI-powered platform to revolutionize the creative process. So it’s a lot different than using a chat bot or someone else. He is actually going to be showcasing this revolutionary technology that he’s been working on for several years with IBM.”

Bailer compared the AI co-host, qd.pi, to AI bot Watson, who famously competed on “Jeopardy!” and won, and highlighted that Will.i.am’s app is “beyond ChatGPT” when it comes to creativity and collaboration.

Close up of Will.i.am in sunglasses

“This platform is an advanced platform built for creatives. So when creatives are developing and gathering content, they have multiple files and videos, that they are trying to collaborate together [with] and it’s too much to transfer around. [There’s also the] concern that it actually could be stolen. So he is working to encrypt those files as well as transfer those files in a collaborative method. He is then taking that data and information, and he will be using it to infuse his co-host with really unlimited information. This is beyond ChatGPT. He is taking ChatGPT, Dropbox files, creative content, and he’s putting it all into a collaborative platform.” 

Bailer clarified that anyone inputting material into the app would still retain their ownership over it, saying it’s similar to a crypt or NFT person, but also “a whole new business model.”

WATCH NOW: AI EXPERT EXPLAINS WHY WILL.I.AM’S NEW AI CO-HOST APP IS ‘BEYOND CHATGPT’

Will.i.am spoke with CNBC during the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos about AI and the importance of controlling one’s own likeness and data.

“These are all new concepts and there’s no rulebook for it yet. And we’re figuring it out as we go. I think… you need to own your AI and your data that’s going to power it. Right now, we don’t own our data,” he said, adding, “It’s a human right that I own my stuff. It’s a human right that the stuff that I own is going to feed my essence and likeness.”

AI-assisted podcasts and shows are on the rise. Last year, ChatGPT created an AI-generated episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” featuring recreations of the voices of Rogan and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in conversation. 

Rogan wrote about the recreation on X (then Twitter), saying “This is going to get very slippery, kids.”

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Close up of Joe Rogan

Last week, another AI-generated and co-hosted podcast caused controversy by creating an approximation of a modern day stand-up special by the late comedian George Carlin.

Dudesy, a comedy AI platform founded by “Mad TV” alum Will Sasso and author and screenwriter Chad Kultgen, released an hour-long comedy special titled “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” on YouTube and other platforms.

George Carlin on stage with a microphone

According to their website, the Dudesy AI has access to all of Sasso and Kultgen’s “personal emails, text messages, social media accounts, purchases, and browsing histories so that it can tailor the show to their specific personalities and entertain you at the highest level possible. Every episode is an experiment that generates data that will be used to make the next episode even better! Eventually, Dudesy will be perfect and so will you.”

In an accompanying podcast episode, Sasso and Kultgen reacted to an excerpt from the AI-generated special, which they claim to have been previously unaware was generated by Dudesy.

Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin-McCall, decried the platform’s use of her father’s material and name.

“My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius,” she wrote in a statement to Fox News Digital. “These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again. Let’s let the artist’s work speak for itself.” 

Bailer explained that there’s a major difference in what Dudesy did versus what Will.i.am’s radio show and app are doing.

“[Will.i.am] is on a platform to really protect your data and your actual essence,” she said. “So his platform is going to be an innovative way to protect really your, again, your essence and your likeness. And that’s what his mission is for the world. Think of him as attracting creatives in a different way, where he’s actually the infrastructure to all of these new ideas and creations, and he’s trying to protect that infrastructure as well as increase the productivity of the creatives by having that accessibility to file transfer and sharing and collaboration of content.”

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