Spotify has launched an AI-powered DJ that curates and comments on a personalized playlist. Spotify calls it an “AI DJ in your Pocket” that “knows your music tastes so well that it can decide what to play for you.”
Although the playlist is infinite, users can switch between genres and artists by pressing the DJ button on-screen. This feedback has led to the enhancement of the feature’s recommendations. It scans new releases to suggest new artists to you and can also take you back to old tracks that you have enjoyed in the past.
Sonantic AI voice tech, which Spotify bought last year, powers the DJ’s artificial vocalization. Spotify claims the words the DJ uses are a combination of various sources. This includes a writer’s area with “music specialists, culture experts, data curators, scriptwriters” and OpenAI’s AI Models.
Is the output unique for every user, or do they use certain templates repeatedly? Emily Galloway (Head of Product Design for Personalization) told the reporters that although the commentary surrounding each artist is the same, the order in which users get the commentary is different and is based on each user’s listening habits.
Galloway stated: “While DJ is in Beta, we have a high element of human touch to ensure commentary is accurate and culturally relevant and matches the personality of the DJ. We are working with very new technology so we will change this process.
The model uses some standard phrases to customize the music it hears next. However, it can also ad-lib in certain safe zones. As we have seen with ChatGPT, Bing, and other AI chatterboxes, they can easily go off the track. Listen to the DJ’s cookie-cutter chatter below. However, we will have to wait until more people test the feature to determine if it becomes repetitive or boring.
The quality of the artificial voice is what makes it stand out. The synthetic DJ in the video above sounds as smooth as the one in Spotify’s launch trailer. This is a form of information that should be treated with suspicion.
Based on the vocals of Xavier Jernigan (an exec at Spotify), only one voice is currently available. Spotify claims this is the “first model of DJ,” meaning there will be many more virtual hosts in the future. It is easy to see users being able to select different voices and different presentation styles — from upbeat to relaxing, etc.
DJ is currently only available in English to Spotify Premium subscribers in Canada and the US. Spotify’s DJ is one of the most interesting apps we’ve seen from the new wave of AI-powered tools. The service is returning the radio to the airwaves, something many people jumped to streaming to avoid.
Spotify’s DJ feature is essentially a halfway house between a station you don’t control and a playlist you carefully curated. Is it possible to add a virtual DJ? We don’t know. Some feel that Spotify’s efforts to diversify its platform have made it feel cluttered. Let’s determine if an Artificial Intelligence Powered DJ can cut through all the noise.