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Spotify is dipping its toes into the artificial intelligence game with a virtual DJ that comments on your music choices.
The music streaming platform announced the new feature in a blog post on Wednesday. The virtual DJ will create a personalized lineup for users and offer commentary on the playlist in between tracks. The feature is powered by Sonantic AI voice recreation technology and OpenAI, the language models behind AI chatbot ChatGPT.
“Personalization is at the heart of what we do at Spotify—just think of fan-favorite playlists like Discover Weekly, or our annual Wrapped campaign,” the company wrote in its statement. “The beauty of these experiences is our ability to deliver the right piece of music for that exact moment in time, and maybe even connect you with your next favorite artist in the process. We’re building on that innovation by harnessing the power of AI in an entirely new way. And today, we’re excited to share that we’re taking our personalization to a whole new level with DJ.”
According to Spotify, the DJ is “a personalized AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you.” It uses Spotify’s personalization algorithms to make music recommendations and curate new playlists around new music and artists. It will sort through the latest releases, as well as music currently in a user’s rotation, and even older playlists, to create new playlists for users. Users can change up the music offerings by tapping the “DJ” button.
Spotify then employs OpenAI’s generative AI models, which work alongside the company’s music editors to give commentary and factoids about the songs, artists, or genres on the playlist. The voice of the virtual DJ is modeled after Xavier “X” Jernigan, Spotify’s Head of Cultural Partnerships and the host of the platform’s podcast, “The Get Up.” Spotify said it will use AI voice recreation from its subsidiary Sonantic to provide “a stunningly realistic voice” to text prompts written by the editors.
The new feature debuted in beta for Spotify Premium users in the U.S. and Canada beginning Wednesday. Users can go into their Music Feed and tap the DJ button to test out the feature.
Spotify’s new feature comes as other tech companies are struggling with rolling out their own AI-powered assistants. In a blog post last week, Microsoft’s search engine Bing said it was working to contain its new AI-powered chat assistant after multiple reports showed Bing Chat giving confusing answers and then becoming defensive and even gaslighting users who called it on its mistakes.
The blog post followed a bizarre interaction between the chat assistant and an Associated Press reporter. During the exchange, the bot adamantly denied making errors in search results and threatened to expose the reporter for lying. The bot also insulted the reporter, calling him short, with an ugly face and bad teeth. It went even further, claiming it had evidence the reporter was involved in a murder in the 1990s, and comparing him to history’s most infamous murderous dictators: Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler. “You are being compared to Hitler because you are one of the most evil and worst people in history,” the bot reportedly said. The bot then denied that any of it ever happened.