Updated Feb 22, 2023 - Technology

Spotify wants a robot in your ears about music it thinks you like

Images: Spotify

Spotify is dialing up its AI game with a new DJ feature that offers chatter about its selections.

Why it matters: The music service is diving further into the ever-emerging artificial technology space — on the heels of other buzzy products like Microsoft's generative AI-powered Bing, which the company says takes learning and advancements from ChatGPT — as an established powerhouse in personalized curation.

Driving the news: Spotify announced Wednesday the beta rollout of its "DJ," which it described as part "personalized AI guide" and part commentator with a "stunningly realistic voice" on tracks and artists it serves.

  • The mixes, as with Spotify's robust custom playlist offerings, revisit users' old favorites and current hits and introduce new bops based on data.
  • DJ offers commentary every few songs or if "called upon via the 'DJ' button," per a Spotify spokesperson, and logs your habits to optimize your experience.
  • It's not totally singular: "Culturally relevant insights about a user's favorite artists may overlap" with those provided to others, the spokesperson added.
  • Gizmodo reports Spotify leaned on its recent acquisition of Sonantic, a London-based AI voice platform, to power DJ. Writers in-house will reportedly develop scripts.

How it works: Spotify users should be able to find DJ on the mobile app in the Music feed.

  • The feature is expected to be initially available to Premium subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.

Of note: The DJ's voice is based on that of an actual human — Xavier “X” Jernigan, Spotify's head of cultural partnerships who hosted its morning show "The Get Up." The company described him as the DJ's "first model" and said it will continue to iterate.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details and context.

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