Day 9 – Creating podcasts

Welcome to day 9 of the 12 Days of AI. Today will be a fun task of creating padcasts!

What is Recast?

Recast is a service that employs AI technology to transform extensive articles into brief, audio-based discussions. Using OpenAI and various large language models (LLMs), Recast creates detailed summaries of articles, presenting them in multi-voice conversational podcasts.

The process starts with Recast’s AI examining a text based article to pinpoint the most critical elements and conclusions. It takes this information and creates a script tailored for an engaging audio dialogue.

It’s important to note Recast requires the use of an extension in Safari or Chrome or downloading an iOS app. If these are not accessible to you, we’ve listed an alternative activity below.

What does Recast do with my information?

Here’s Recast’s privacy policy to learn more.

How do I access Recast?

Create an account on Recast site and choose Login to create the Recast account.

Your task:

Create a podcast using Recast. After logging in:

  • Find the block titled ‘Add your own recasts’
  • Select Learn more
Location of Chrome and Safari extensions on Recast home page
  • Download the extension or app version of Recast you want to use.
  • After your download is complete, follow the instructions to create a podcast. Here is one created about the 12 Days of AI.

What if I can’t download an extension or iOS app?

Additional resource:

Join the discussion:

Share a link to your recast in the comments or on X using #12doAI.

  • How did you get on with the task – did you find it useful? Difficult?
  • How easy was it to create the podcast?
  • How could you use this podcast in your work? Could you use it in your teaching? If so, how?
  • How do you generally use podcasting or other forms of audio in your work with students?
  • What was your experience with the Chronicle’s recast?
  • How do you see this as a tool that could be used to enhance accessibility?
  • Does your institution/workplace offer other similar tools?

Don’t forget:

Enter the competition – it closes on Thursday 17:00 London time!

19 Comments on “Day 9 – Creating podcasts

  1. I think this is an interesting tool as it provides helpful summaries of articles and webpages. I think that it offers students choice and learning ‘anytime anywhere’ and I liked the change of voices which sounded quite realistic rather than monotone/robotic. Creating the podcast from BBC news was easy. I had more trouble creating from a PDF (the tool failed) and from a full-text article on an academic publishers website…that required payment for an upgrade to the ‘full’ version which would allow me to submit content from any publisher. I think this has a lot of potential but I would have liked to see how it dealt with a PDF and academic article before committing to pay so it has switched me off trying this again.

    • Hi Katharine,
      Me too! I was unable to convert any document from a website with the Chrome extension as well, it goes straight to the upgrade to full version queue. I wish there is at least a 1-minute trial to test out the platform. It was a good idea to turn an article into sound bites.

  2. Seems very promising although I did not succeed to get a podcast with two different articles (a blogpost and a paper in ResearchGate). It requires upgrading in both instances. I had better luck with the Blackboard Ally free tool though

  3. I couldn’t get it to work and it would not for be me personally as I find audio information hard to focus on. But can see the accessibility benefits for students who want or need to access information in this way.

    • I love the idea of this, and I shall be venturing deeper into this over the next few months as Podcasts are still very popular within L&T, but time is an issue, so this is a great possible solution!
      I was impressed by the podcast output of the mid course survey, very clear, and concise, and human like!
      I wasn’t able to add the extension to my work laptop due to security restrictions, so I shall be trying this on my personal computers asap!
      Great course btw – thanks for the effort! 🙂

  4. I used Rowan Moore’s “From a 100-mile city to a desert ski resort: why is Saudi Arabia spending billions on architectural ‘gigaprojects’?” on the Guardian as the source text for recast to generate a 3:58-minute podcast. This was done in a minute and the result was amazing. It provides a good snapshot of the long article, which could take more than 10 minutes to digest. I can see many benefits of this tool to summarise a source and present it in the form of podcast. For example, it could be used in the early stage of secondary research to explore a topic before one delve into a source; it can be appealing to the TikTok generation who is used to bitesize videos; the format of podcast further disseminates the information in a much more lively manner, which could make learning more interesting. Obviously, details, connotations, etc. will be missed out in podcast. However, listening the podcast resembles the common practice of academic reading by skimming an article or reading the abstract to get the gist of it before a decision to ditch the article or to read it carefully.

  5. Very interesting app not only for news articles, but also for open academic papers too. I used it with a paper I have co-authored (so that I can judge the quality of the podcast) and I must say that I am impressed with the outcome. Recast has summarised the article, added a conversational tone to it and then narrated it using two voices (a male and a female one). Bearing in mind that the reading time is estimated to be 42 minutes according to Recast, the 8 minute podcast from it is not only succinct, but a comprehensive summary of the article produced in an alternative format.

    Here’s a 8 min audio version of “Lecturing from home: Exploring academics’ experiences of remote teaching during a pandemic” from International Journal of Educational Research Open converted using recast app.

  6. I didn’t have time to get the extended Chrome to upload my own longer content so I just looked at comparing the ‘I’m a Student…’ sample. I like the way the different voices come in to make it sound as though people are actually reviewing the key points rather than a monotone computer-sounding voice. In my opinion, it’s basically an audio version of Claude but I can see how both of these two tools could complement each other. The Recast audio from an academic text could be used for note-taking practice or summary writing, which could then be compared to the notes made by Claude.

    Is it possible to upload a lecture video to get a Recast summary or does it need to be text-based?

  7. bit behind and didn’t get to use the tool in part cos of the terms and conditions….which state that you give them a licence in all areas to use your voice and/or image. the terms and conditons of these apps do need to be looked at closely by ourselves, especially if we are recommending them to students. It of course says that you as a user need to have cleared all permissions of the inputs that you unless you have authored that article/chapter/magazine/newspaper article you do not have the permission to upload to it. Its a bit of a wild west at the moment with such apps trying to grab as much data and information as they can

    • You’re definitely right, Andrew. There are a lot of apps trying to capture information so they can use it to improve their own algorithms and data sources. I think hopefully in this process, we are learning to all be more critical of what we share with who and what they could use it for!

  8. Having read about what this app was claiming it could do I was so excited to try it out to summarise some of the articles I have been reading about authentic assessment in the age of AI. Unfortunately, my excitement soon turned to disappointment as none of the articles (I tried about 15) I submitted to the Chrome App could be converted on the fly. It required upgrading in all instances, I searched for resources from Authentic Assessment, Diamond mining in South Africa and the Internet of Things. NONE WORKED. Finally from reading through the comments on this challenge page, I found another user who’d had success using this tool with an online article they had written themselves. The output of this was absolutely excellent. I really liked the look of the out this tool produces however, due to the problems with the free version (I appreciate that it would have all worked if I’d paid for the full version) I think I will give it a miss… I’m guessing that this will become a standard feature included in some of the main AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Claude. Gutted that this wasn’t more of a successful experiment as it looks sooo good!

  9. I’m glad I’m not alone in being unable to find the correct content for this conversion tool to work. It does have huge potential though and I was impressed with the quality of the demos, and of the pieces that people did manage to create. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Definitely sounds like they have work to do regarding what kind of content could be used. I know at UAL we have an internal tool (Blackboard Ally) for learning materials that sometimes works similarly but is not as visually appealing.

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