Actual Humans – Out to Lunch – It’s Acadiana
There’s a lot of talk these days about Artificial Intelligence. Economists and pundits are betting on who’s still going to have a job in 20 years and who’s going to be replaced by a robot or an algorithm. Some say the jobs most likely to disappear are taxi drivers, Uber, and truck drivers. Others say it’s tax preparers and loan officers.
As an illustration of how difficult it can be to predict how this is all going to go, you could look at the strangely similar fate of office receptionists and radio personalities. It wasn’t that long ago that the person who answered the phone at your business was vitally important. To many customers, the office receptionist was the face of your entire company. Today, all of us have the experience of calling a business and having a conversation with a robot.
If you think you’re frustrated by this technological development, imagine how much more difficult life is for Jamey Hopper.
Jamey is President of a company called Dexcomm. Dexcomm is a communications company that specializes in answering the phone for businesses. It’s an answer service. Jamey bought the company when the world was a lot different, in 1989. There were 15,000 answering services in the country then. Now there are 150.
In 1909 an Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, won the Nobel Prize for inventing radio. In the past 109 years radio has had an immeasurable effect on all of us. It created the concept of the mass market. For the first time, you could talk directly to hundreds, then thousands, then millions of people. And you could sell them stuff. Including records. And political ideas.
Radio became so powerful that the United Sates Government created the Federal Communications Commission to regulate it. Today, radio continues to evolve. Beyond Marconi-style broadcasting, we now get radio delivered to us via satellite, the internet, and we listen to it on demand as podcasts – on devices that are no longer actual radios. For over 25% of the last century of this evolution of radio – that is, for the last 25-plus years – Mike Grimsley has been an eye witness and a key player.
Today Mike is Regional Vice President and General Manager of Townsquare Media, overseeing 19 radio stations in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Shreveport.