Charting the AI Course: How BIPOC Creators Can Shape the Future of Podcasting

Davar Ardalan
10 min readOct 9, 2023


At TulipAI we blend content creation with artificial intelligence (AI). We’re grateful that TulipAI is collaborating with BIPOC Podcast Creators for a special webinar this week. We extend our gratitude to Maribel Quezada Smith and Tangia R. Al-awaji Estrada for providing this opportunity to join and delve into the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in podcasting. Register here.

Transformative Era for Media and Podcasting

The landscape of podcasting is undergoing a transformative phase with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), manifesting in innovations like Podchaser’s Predictive Demographics for precise audience targeting through language analysis, and Resound’s AI-powered tools that automate and enhance podcast production processes.

Additionally, Spotify’s Voice Translation Pilot stands as a noteworthy stride towards transcending language barriers by translating podcasts into various languages through cloning the original voice, potentially amplifying global listenership and advertising prospects. However, as the dawn of Generative AI Podcasts emerges, it brings along ethical quandaries surrounding voice cloning and content generation, showcasing that not all that glitters, in the rush towards cutting-edge technology, is gold.

On this note, we at TulipAI are at the early stages towards ethical AI audio generation with initiatives like Soundscapes, crafting ethically sourced audio experiences, and fostering a revenue-sharing model that underscores diversity, authenticity, and sustainability.

While some of these advancements are groundbreaking, they beckon a moment of pause and reflection, especially for the BIPOC Podcast Creators. The question arises: in a domain where large corporations are racing to unveil cutting-edge AI initiatives, how many are taking a step back to consider ethical sourcing or to ensure a fair representation of our global community in this AI-driven narrative?

Hence, a discerning conversation is crucial among BIPOC Podcast Creators on which AI initiatives they would want to lead or align with, particularly when the rush for innovation could overshadow the essence of ethical and representative progression.

Podcasting and AI Initiatives in the Works:

The fusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with podcasting and audio generation is reshaping content creation, distribution, and engagement. This evolution, highlighted through 9 notable advancements or new projects, illustrates a trajectory towards more personalized, inclusive, and efficient audio experiences.

1. Podchaser’s Predictive Demographics

Podchaser, dubbed the podcast industry’s intelligence engine, recently unveiled Predictive Demographics. This innovation employs AI to analyze podcast language, predicting the likely age and gender of its audience, aiding advertisers in honing their targeting strategies. Unlike the prevailing method of using first-party data, which many find challenging due to siloed data collections and intricate regulations, Predictive Demographics offers a solution that taps into demographic data across over five million podcasts globally, thereby simplifying the marketers’ task in reaching the right audiences. Source

2. Resound AI-Powered Tools

Resound has launched a suite of AI-powered tools under its AI podcast editor, Resound. These tools automate podcast production processes including mixing, mastering, manual audio trimming, filler sounds and silence detection. This suite, built in collaboration with professional audio engineers, significantly eases the podcast workflow while ensuring high-quality audio output. Source

3. Spotify’s Voice Translation Pilot

Spotify has embarked on a pilot project aimed at translating podcasts into various languages using AI, while retaining the original podcaster’s voice. This initiative could drastically widen the potential listener base, especially in non-English speaking regions. If successful, this endeavor not only enriches the listener experience but also holds promise in boosting Spotify’s advertising network, thereby potentially influencing its business model significantly. Source

4. The Emergence of Generative AI Podcasts

Generative AI has paved the way for AI-hosted podcasts. Startups like ElevenLabs, WondercraftAI, and Podcastle have launched tools to generate AI voices swiftly. The ‘Joe Rogan AI Experience’ notably gained traction by using a cloned voice of Joe Rogan. However, the creator highlights a challenge; while technologically intriguing, the generated content may lack substantial engaging material, questioning the long-term audience retention for such podcasts. Source

“The integration of AI in podcasting and audio generation is poised to transform the industry, addressing issues of language barriers, content discoverability, and ethical and responsible AI considerations,” Davar Ardalan of TulipAI

5. New Worlds Inclusive Design

The work of Joel McKinnon from New Worlds Inclusive Design in ensuring the inclusivity and accessibility of podcasting are indeed groundbreaking. In collaboration with Fanfare, Joel is working on a transcription editor and playback interface to develop “active transcripts” that cater to a broad spectrum of disabilities. These transcripts, available in various formats, incorporate features like highlighted text synchronized with audio playback and enriched content embedded with images and links, making podcasting a more inclusive and enriching experience for all. Examples of this pioneering work can be explored at Withfanfare showcasing a meaningful stride towards an accessible podcasting realm. Source

Joel McKinnon also provided an enlightening assessment of one of our websites, revealing a paradox in using no-code web apps. While they simplify the creation process, they complicate the design of online resources, such as transcripts or adding alt text to images, with accessibility considerations in mind. This paradox exposes the nuanced challenges in the future of AI applications, casting light upon the pivotal balance that must be struck between providing simplistic design interfaces and ensuring the universal accessibility of the resulting digital and AI landscapes.

The collaborative ventures and technological advancements discussed signify a promising horizon for creators, listeners, and the broader audio entertainment ecosystem. But what also is in the works is understanding ethical and innovative approaches, not only enhancing the quality and reach of audio content but also fostering a more diverse and sustainable industry framework.

6. AI Media Assistant for Podcasts

At TulipAI we are currently in the beta phase of developing AI assistants to rejuvenate your podcast archives. Currently we use 3rd party vendors like Botsonic and VoiceFlow for creating AI Assistants. Through multi-language responses and content repackaging, we foresee a global reach, more informative content, and effective archival discovery.

For instance, check out CK, an AI digital assistant and co-host of the “Long Sought” podcast. CK, short for Catherine Kessler, is an audio synthetic character named after host John Oliver Smith’s ancestor. CK brings data and stories from the past to life, and listeners can interact with CK online in several languages.

CK debuts in episode 2 of the podcast and serves as an AI assistant on the series’ platform connecting the past with present-day AI. Note that given eco considerations and computational costs the developers have limited the number of messages each user asks CK to 10. Source 1 and Source 2

7. Ethical AI Audio Generation Initiative

Soundscapes by TulipAI, represents a long-term vision towards creating customized, ethically sourced audio experiences for various platforms including podcasting, VR/AR, education, and film. The venture invites a critical discourse on reevaluating prevailing governance and ownership models to advocate for more sustainable and inclusive solutions in the AI audio generation domain.

Picture this: input prompts and get customized, ethically sourced cultural and environmental sounds. Our growth strategy spans 5 to 10 years to achieve true representation. Creatives who contribute become revenue partners.

So you give the AI a suggestion, and it creates special background sounds that are true to real life and also respect different cultures and environments. For example, if you want a cultural sound, maybe something like the vibrant and rhythmic beats of a Diwali, Nowruz or 4th of July celebration, and for an environmental sound, think about the calming and familiar sound of waves gently on Sanibel Island in Florida.

Soundscapes utilizes the capabilities of Meta’s AudioCraft LLM, and we are actively engaged in enhancing its cultural and environmental awareness. Envisaging a revenue-sharing model, we emphasize diversity, authenticity, and sustainability. This initiative can foster a more collaborative ecosystem where creatives share revenue, promoting a blend of ethical considerations with profitability. Source

Embracing a significant transformation, these advancements not only pave the way for a more global, efficient, and data-driven sound ecosystem but also take a vital step towards aiding artificial intelligence in grasping the nuances of various cultures and languages.

If we can do this right, Soundscapes can be a transformative tool that can elevate content, foster cross-cultural understanding, and facilitate storytelling that resonates with diverse audiences.

8. Zabanzad: Born of the Language

Be sure to explore the pioneering work being led by AI scientist, Vahid Behzadan, at his SAIL Lab at the University of New Haven Connecticut. Zabanzad is not simply a technological breakthrough; it heralds a new dawn in Persian AI models, intertwining technology with rich cultural and linguistic understanding.

The mission behind Zabanzad is not merely to elevate the accuracy of Persian language tools but also to empower entrepreneurs in the future to intricately weave them into intuitive chatbots and voice assistants, specifically crafted for the Iranian diaspora community. Envision an Alexa or Siri that can comprehend and respond in the Persian language or Farsi, truly acknowledging the cultural and linguistic peculiarities of its users.

“Zaban” (زبان) in Persian conveys “language” or “tongue,” while “Zaad” (زاد) symbolizes “birth” and is frequently used to imply origin or lineage. Consequently, “Zabanzad” encapsulates a profound meaning, signifying being “born of language”, and poetically intertwining technological advancement with deep cultural roots. Source

9. Laleh AI: Legacy Preservation

Laleh AI (beta) serves as a remarkable and innovative digital platform, designed to perpetuate and disseminate the profound teachings and wisdom of the late Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, a revered American Islamic scholar and Sufi teacher and author of many books including The Sublime Quran.

Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, passed away on October 18, 2020 in Chicago, from Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a rare blood disorder. Three years later, social media posts continue to reflect on Laleh’s work and feminine perspective on Islam.

The AI experience is designed to guide users through various content types, like Sufi Enneagram Classes and insightful discussions, thereby acting as a digital assistant that brings Dr. Bakhtiar’s wisdom to users.

As an ongoing transparent and ethically-developed tool by TulipAI, Laleh AI is not only a tribute to Dr. Bakhtiar’s enduring legacy but also a progressive medium that invites user interaction and continuous learning while promising ongoing improvements and enriched knowledge base to effectively blend technology with education.

In over 50 years, Laleh Bakhtiar wrote, translated, edited, adapted over 100 books. One of her proudest accomplishments came in 2007 with the translation of the Quran from Arabic into English called The Sublime Quran.

Since the advent of Islam, it has mostly been men translating and interpreting the Quran. As a female scholar of Islam, she produced a gender neutral translation and challenged the status quo on the Arabic word daraba, traditionally translated as “beat” — a word that she says has been used as justification of abuse of Muslim women. Her translation has generated intense scrutiny and criticism as well as praise and recognition from around the world.

In 2007, Jordanian Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs to King Abdullah of Jordan, endorsed her translation of the Sublime Quran on Amazon:

The work Dr. Bakhtiar has put into her interpretation — the consistency, the method, the attention to tense, root, case and detail is second to none. I have never seen its like before. The English reading of it is also lovely and smooth. This is clearly a blessing.

In December 2009, American novelist Dave Eggers recommended The Sublime Quran on In an August 2009 article Eggers said:

Reading the Quran was so illuminating. I was able to find a wonderful translation by Laleh Bakhtiar, and it opened me up to the beauty of the faith in a way that no interpretation of the text had before. And, of course, in the book you find, very clearly, Islam’s dedication to social justice, to peace, and to the less fortunate.

Laleh Bakhtiar, my late mother, worked passionately on various writing projects. Before her passing, we started adapting her writings for artificial intelligence (AI) use. Now, my siblings and I, operating as developers through her Institute, are committed to crafting a transparent and ethical development process for Laleh’s AI. Our aim is to demonstrate a mindful approach towards responsible AI use and development.

As we build the AI’s knowledge base, we expect to encounter various challenges and limitations, which we will actively navigate and improve upon throughout the development process. Moving forward, we’re exploring the incorporation of audio features and potentially utilizing recordings of her voice in the AI experience. Since she recorded her voice for such use, this will not only enrich the AI but also bring us a step closer to preserving and sharing her legacy, potentially through future podcasts. Source

As AI continues to evolve, it’s plausible to anticipate further breakthroughs that might redefine podcast creation, distribution, and monetization, making the medium more accessible and engaging to a global audience.

Panelists for the webinar on Tuesday, October 10 at 8pm include:

Davar Ardalan, a seasoned journalist and storytelling technologist, now leads TulipAI in Southwest FL, focusing on AI-driven content, particularly AI-generated audio effects. Her notable roles span National Geographic, NPR News, and The White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship. At her previous startup IVOW AI she contributed to thought leadership in AI and cultural heritage preservation.

Flavia Sparacino, is the founder of Sensing Places, a MIT Media Lab spinoff that specializes in experiential design powered by innovative technology platforms. She creates smart spaces for retail, office, museums and theme parks using predictive behavioral models, computer vision, AI, and immersive content. Collaborating with TulipAI, she’s part of a team developing an AI audio generation tool. Her expertise encompasses digital art, AI, and computer vision applied in interactive advertising and more.

Reza Moradinezhad, an assistant professor of Computer Science at Drexel University, explores trustworthy human-AI interaction techniques. Collaborating with TulipAI, he’s part of a team working on innovative AI solutions. His research delves into the trust dynamics between humans and Embodied Virtual Agents (EVAs).

Vahid Behzadan, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, leads the Secure and Assured Intelligent Learning (SAIL) research lab, investigating AI safety, security, and robustness in various domains. His insights on AI safety and cybersecurity have been highlighted in notable media outlets.

Scott Dudley, Chief Creative Officer at, specializing in audio post-production for various media including film and television. His expertise spans soundscapes, sound design, and sonic branding, with previous clients like Apple, GoPro, and Nike.

Christine Johnson, a seasoned tech innovator advisor, supports emerging technology companies and consults on market and business development strategies. With a rich background in tech innovation and diversity initiatives, she’s collaborated with giants like Spotify and Microsoft, and is a recent Advisory Board member for Venture for America Miami.

This content was crafted with the assistance of artificial intelligence, which contributed to structuring the narrative, ensuring grammatical accuracy, and summarizing key points to enhance the readability and coherence of the material.



Davar Ardalan

Founder TulipAI. National Geographic, NPR News, SecondMuse, White House PIF Alum.