Open archive of 240,000 hours' worth of talk radio, including 2.8 billion words of machine-transcription

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I used to listen to rush Limbaugh in the early 90s… before I became more politically astute and realized what BS it was. It’s really how all this Fox News alternative facts thing started. It seriously brainwashes people. And it only got worse once all these radio conglomerates ate up local stations. Now rush Limbaugh isn’t just a couple hours on a local news station that is otherwise respectable (I’m thinking of WHO radio out of Des Moines in my case) … the whole station is just that sort of fox news programming.


240,000 hours of talk radio, that’s incredible! That’s gotta be at least three months of broadcasting from Fox News pundits & broadcasters.

Do they transcribe the ads too? So many tax relief services. So many vitamin supplements.


I just hope the corpus didn’t catch or somehow excluded rural radio streams, otherwise (as anyone who drives between cities knows) the number one term is gonna be “Jesus”.


I keep getting reminded of how talk radio in Rwanda (broadcasting hate speech and calls for violence) played such a major role in the worst act of genocide since the Holocaust.


Great, now we’re explicitly training our AIs to be dittoheads.

Second worst. Most impartial estimates put Iraqi non-combatant casualties as higher.

I think the term “genocide” implies an element of intent to eradicate a specific population, not just a big body count. China’s Great Famine under Mao Zedong’s mismanagement claimed tens of millions of lives but most scholars don’t classify it as a genocide.


What did that poor AI ever do to you?

If you follow the link to the research description, this will answer your question. the radio stations that they chose are totally not representative of radio in general. They chose radio stations that they thought would be interesting to study.

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Of course, Radio Rwanda was operated by the government. There is no similarity to the United States.

Dehumanizing, inflammatory rhetoric and calls for violence on behalf of an authoritarian regime aren’t any less dangerous just because the radio station broadcasting them isn’t owned by the government.


Especially when the government is owned by the radio station conglomerate.


To be fair I think Fox News owns a bigger share of this administration than iHeartMedia/ClearChannel.

Thanks. Taking a look just now, it seems they focused on political talk radio and public radio shows for the study. So yeah, they excluded the all-Jeebus-all-the-time stations.

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