Meet X, Spotify’s AI DJ

Be careful, Google, Bing, and ChatGPT: Spotify is the most recent tech firm to launch a giant, new AI characteristic. And it is one thing utterly completely different: an AI DJ.

The DJ — which makes use of a mixture of personalization know-how, generative AI, and an AI voice — is now accessible to Premium customers within the U.S. and Canada. To make use of Spotify’s AI DJ, open the app and choose the “music” tab. Then faucet anyplace on the DJ card, the big blue rectangle. To modify up the theme of the music the DJ is taking part in, faucet the round icon within the backside right-hand nook.

Whenever you first open the DJ characteristic, the DJ, X, introduces itself in its super-realistic human voice earlier than taking part in a collection of songs the algorithm chooses based mostly in your earlier listening. Consider it as a twist on Spotify’s discovery playlists, however now you do not have to decide on which one to take heed to, and the AI voice provides commentary curated by Spotify’s music consultants.



Spotify is right here to research your relationship compatibility

X is known as after Xavier Jernigan, head of cultural partnerships and host at Spotify, who supplied his personal voice for the AI to mannequin. Jernigan labored with the workforce to make the DJ as correct to his vocabulary and speech patterns as doable, and the result’s uncanny. If, like me, you are one to zone out whereas listening to music, the semi-frequent interruptions from this not-human DJ could startle you.

The tag line of the brand new characteristic is “Simply hit play and let Spotify do the remainder”; while you accomplish that, the DJ cycles by means of completely different themed brief collections of songs that stability acquainted and new music. These mini playlists are based mostly by yourself “Latest listening” in addition to “Editors picks,” “Throwbacks,” “Really helpful for you,” and “Your previous.” Songs are usually organized by style or a vibe. The DJ normally provides some clarification for the songs that are not already in your rotation, however X isn’t any match for the sort of pleasure and evaluation you get from a music savvy pal or perhaps a good radio DJ.

For instance, after I pressed the DJ button to alter up the music, X stated, “Alright, let’s soar to some artists I picked out for you. All of them have sort of an analogous vibe. First up, I’ve acquired a traditional from Calvin Harris. It is known as ‘This Is What You Got here For’ and it options Rihanna. It was an enormous hit when it dropped in 2016, and it is nonetheless a banger right now.”

Initially, should not Spotify’s algorithm know that I — and virtually everybody else — is aware of that track? And what sort of context is that?! If the AI was really personalised to me, it will point out that Taylor Swift wrote it.

The easy commentary is created by generative AI within the arms of Spotify’s music consultants, who’re a part of a writers room that curates the AI. The text-to-speech system Spotify used to create the DJ was developed by the AI voice firm Sonantic, which it acquired this summer(Opens in a new tab).

Credit score: Spotify / ClassyBuzz edit

A spokesperson from Spotify informed ClassyBuzz that its analysis discovered that customers usually tend to take heed to one thing new once they get some commentary. Possibly they’re nonetheless figuring out the kinks on what that commentary ought to truly be.

Maybe the spookiest a part of the DJ are these songs out of your previous. X is intent on preying on nostalgia and, based on the spokesperson, “serving up reminiscences.” As an alternative of letting you deliberately revisit previous tunes when and in case you’re prepared, the DJ reminds you of them whether or not you need it or not. For instance, X set the scene of main popular culture moments that occurred in 2019, then performed me a run of my forgotten prime songs of that 12 months, together with Goldlink’s “Herside Story” and “2009” by Mac Miller, yanking me again to ecstasy and doldrums of school.

Total, I discovered the fixed change in music temper draining, and X’s picks, like a track off of an album known as “Aphex Twin for Guitar,” by Simon Farintosh (why would it not assume I would like an an acoustic model of digital music?) made me query simply how personalised it truly is.

We have lengthy relied on algorithms to assist us minimize by means of the overwhelming quantity of content material on the market, however the DJ made me extraordinarily cautious of leaving one thing I like and do day-after-day within the arms of AI. Name me old school, however I’d reasonably be deliberate about what I take heed to, and uncover music organically, with care.

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