We recently ran a survey with readers of our site to learn more about how they’re currently using AI.
And what did we really learn?
That the majority (58%) of those 600+ podcasters we surveyed aren’t using AI at all.
Those who said they aren’t using AI cited several reasons. But one that really stood out to us was that many podcasters said they don’t know enough about the technology yet or how to bring it into their podcasting workflow.
So, we thought it would be helpful to take some inspiration from those podcasters who are using AI right now. What processes are these podcasters supplementing with AI, which tools are they using, and how are they using them?
Let’s dig in…
How Podcasters Are Using AI
So, 42% of those podcasters we surveyed told us they are using AI to create their podcast. Here are the processes they’re using the technology for:
How to Use AI in Your Podcast Process
And now, here’s a breakdown of these podcast processes, how you can use AI to support them and which AI tools will help you.
Topic & Guest Idea Generation
Unsurprisingly, topic idea generation was the most popular process to use AI tools for. Whether you’re new to podcasting or have been running your show for years, we all get a bit of podcaster’s block occasionally.
The beauty of generative AI tools is that, unlike humans, they never get creative block. The ideas they provide you with might not be the best you’ve ever heard, but they’ll almost certainly get your own creative juices flowing. Tools like this can help you explore angles you hadn’t thought of before.
If you’re new to the concept of ‘generative AI tools’, this is technology that generates results (whether that’s text or image results) based on prompts like “Can you suggest some podcast episode ideas that focus on [topic]?”
We have a full guide on the best ChatGPT prompts for podcasters that will give you a head start.
Podcast Script Drafting
Podcast scripting exists on a spectrum. There are some creators who just need a few bullet points to riff from, whilst a dedicated few feel the need to type their episodes out word-for-word.
Most podcasters find themselves somewhere in between. A little elaboration can go a long way, especially if you’re presenting facts or advice that you need to be 100% accurate.
That’s one of the reasons some podcasters go word for word. It gives you the ultimate control over your content. But it also quadruples your workflow, and very few podcasters can read fully written scripts and make them sound conversational.
If it’s hard enough to read your own writing aloud and sound natural, it’s going to be near impossible with an AI-generated word-for-word script. Hopefully very few (or, preferably, none!) of the 43% are doing it this way. At least without a very thorough edit before hitting record.
While the technology is incredibly sophisticated (and yes, sometimes eerily so), it’s not human. And as we all know, podcasting is a human medium. That’s what makes it special, and why AI tools can never replace podcasters.
But there’s no doubt that AI can do a lot for you on the scripting front; from providing inspiration and unique new angles, to help with flow and order. You can even have it come up with some cool and interesting questions for your guest or co-host.
Tools to help you get inspiration for podcast scripts: Chat GPT.
The last thing you ever want to do is publish a podcast episode without doing your due diligence on the topic first. That’s a surefire way to lose credibility with your listeners, and it’s just generally bad practice.
But how many sources do you currently use in your research, and how long does it take? You’ll likely use a combination of different sources like Wikipedia, news articles and anything else you find when doing a thorough Google search. It can involve hours of work.
The beauty of generative AI tools like ChatGPT is that they can provide very specific answers to your research questions.
For example, say I type into Google, “Who are the biggest gangsters in Glasgow’s history?”. With this search, I’m relying on a single source to have written an article on this exact topic. If a single source doesn’t already exist, I’ll get a whole load of different articles about Glasgow gangs that I’ll need to scroll through to pull out the names and facts manually.
Pop the same question into ChatGPT and it’ll scan through all the available sources for you and bring you streamlined results, like the screenshot below. Depending on how niche your topic is (in which case fewer sources will exist, so these tools become even more helpful), this can literally save you hours of research time.
There are two things to be aware of when using tools like this for fact-checking:
- As you can see from the last line in the screenshot above, ChatGPT can only provide answers from before its update in September 2021.
- Sometimes ChatGPT produces incorrect answers due to ‘hallucinations’, so it’s always best to cross-reference with another source.
There are also a whole load of AI-powered fact-checking tools that scan through written content to check the information is correct. While these wouldn’t be used for pre-recording research, you could run your transcript through one of these tools if you want that extra safety net before publishing.
Show Note Drafting
Generating show notes is one of these tasks that most podcasters dread doing. Just when you think you’re ready to share your new podcast episode with the world, you remember that you still need to type up a written summary of the content.
Show note drafting is a part of the podcast workflow process that AI can almost entirely take the reigns with. In fact, it’s almost surprising that anyone does this manually anymore.
A popular method here is to upload your transcript (which, by the way, will almost always be auto-generated by AI-powered tools nowadays) to one of the generative AI tools mentioned below, and it will pull out the highlights and present them in a streamlined synopsis.
Some tools can even come up with alternative title suggestions for your episode, too, based on the transcript.
You don’t need to work with transcription to have AI generate your show notes, though. You can feed in your episode title, script, and guest bio, and it’ll have a decent stab at it, too. This might actually be optimal because transcriptions can be long, unwieldy, and cover a bit of off-topic chatter that’ll confuse the message.
As with any other generative AI text you use in your podcasting process, look at this as a first draft to edit and polish up, rather than a finished piece ready to copy over and hit publish with.
As you can expect, AI technology is evolving as we speak, and new tools are emerging almost daily. But don’t worry – we’re constantly updating this AI tools for podcasters guide so you don’t miss a beat.