Spotify’s new AI DJ “knows your music taste” – and has no soul

The new feature will personally curate music just for you and comes with a “stunningly realistic voice.”

Most of us grew up with annoying radio DJs shouting across the airwaves on our morning drives to school. And no matter how smooth their voice was, they’d still ruin the vibes by interrupting our favourite noughties tunes – or worse, talk over them. They were an irritating presence, never too far away from ruining a classic, but also comforting because they were fellow humans with actual souls and personalities.

Of course, the radio is a long and distant memory for most of us. Spotify is the go-to for the majority, with millions of songs at our fingertips. The radio DJ is a dinosaur, long extinct and replaced in the modern world by carefully curated playlists made perfectly for your listening pleasure. No more interruptions, just endless music. And now, Spotify is taking that concept one step further with their latest addition, an AI DJ service, which will be rolling out this week. 

The feature, aptly titled ‘DJ,’ will be available as a beta option on the Spotify mobile app in the US and Canada, though only for people who pay for Spotify Premium. The robot DJ breaks into the stream between songs to tell you what you’re listening to and is modelled on Xavier “X” Jernigan, Spotify’s head of cultural partnerships. The feature is set to come complete with a “stunningly realistic voice,” to accompany “a curated line-up of music” and commentary around the tracks chosen for each specific user, Spotify said in a statement.

DJ fuses Spotify’s existing personalisation technology with generative AI “through the use of OpenAI technology,” Spotify claims, with expertise from the platform’s music editors and experts.

“If you’re not feeling the vibe, just tap the DJ button and it will switch it up. The more you listen and tell the DJ what you like (and don’t like!), the better its recommendations get,” Spotify added. “Think of it as the very best of Spotify’s personalisation — but as an AI DJ in your pocket.

Of course, it’s not surprising to see Spotify cash in on the AI hype train, with the technology seemingly everywhere at the moment. And while it completely eradicates the need for those aforementioned annoying DJs, it all feels rather dystopian. Perhaps we might even start missing those overly obnoxious shouts and sound effects of radio DJs of days gone by (we doubt it, though).

WriterChris Saunders
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