Spotify Launches AI-Powered ‘DJ’ Feature Using OpenAI Technology

Spotify has put a robot DJ into its app — a computerized song-spinner with a “stunningly realistic” voice that queues up music based on your musical tastes and listening history.

The beta version of DJ is rolling out in English starting Wednesday for Spotify Premium users in the U.S. and Canada.

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Spotify, of course, already has numerous personalized-listening features built into the service, including with its Daily Mix and Discovery Weekly auto-generated playlists. What’s different about DJ is that it combines Spotify’s personalization technology with generative AI through the use of technology from OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT chatbot). Spotify says it put the AI tech in the hands of its music editors “to provide you with insightful facts about the music, artists or genres you’re listening to,” according to the company.

Also, just like a human DJ, Spotify’s DJ provides ongoing commentary about the tracks and artists it’s playing. The feature uses an AI text-to-speech engine from Spotify’s Sonantic acquisition last year. To create the voice model for the DJ in its initial release, the company turned to its head of cultural partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan, who previously served as one of the hosts of Spotify’s first (and personalized) morning show, “The Get Up.” Jernigan’s voice is the first model for the DJ, and “we’ll continue to iterate and innovate, as we do with all our products,” Spotify said.

Based on your music-taste profile, the Spotify DJ will scan new releases that it predicts you will like or resurface songs that you have had on repeat in the past. The feature also constantly refreshes the lineup based on your feedback. If you aren’t into the playlist that the DJ is playing, you can click on the “DJ” button to skip to the next genre or mood.

The new feature is “a generative, expressive and realistic AI DJ that delivers a personalized lineup of music and commentary to each user, for all those times you don’t know exactly what you want to hear,” Spotify chief R&D officer Gustav Söderström tweeted.

How to find the Spotify DJ:

  • Go to your Music Feed on Home in the Spotify mobile app on your iOS or Android device.

  • Tap Play on the DJ card.

  • That’s all! The DJ will stream a lineup of personalize music alongside short commentary on the songs and artists.

  • To change the genre, artist or mood, you can hit the DJ button at the bottom right of the screen.

Watch Spotify’s introductory video for DJ:

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