Spotify joins AI race with new feature that translates podcasts in host’s voice

Spotify is revolutionising the way we consume audio content in today’s world with its extensive library of podcasts that cater to a variety of interests and its user-friendly interface and personalised recommendations.

However, the globally-famous music streaming platform recently made some changes to its user interface utilising AI to make it simpler for its users who do not speak English to listen to their preferred podcast in multiple languages in real-time.

Joining the other tech giants on the AI bandwagon, Spotify on Monday announced a new AI-powered feature that uses the host’s voice to translate podcasts into various languages.

The function, according to the company, is based on OpenAI’s voice generation technology, according to the announcement.

From just a few seconds of speech, the technology can produce “realistic synthetic voices,” according to a release from OpenAI. Spotify claimed that by preserving podcasters’ “distinctive speech characteristics,” it will contribute to making the podcast listening experience more genuine and natural.

On a small number of previous and upcoming episodes, the music-streaming platform has collaborated with podcasters like Bill Simmons, Dax Shepard, Lex Fridman, Monica Padman, Steven Bartlett, and Lex Fridman.

The episodes will be made available to both free users and paid subscribers in the upcoming days and weeks, according to Spotify, which said they were initially translated into Spanish, French, and German.

The pilot stage has prioritised Spanish first and will “follow quickly” with German and French, according to a spokesperson, as they are some of the most popular languages for users who listen to podcasts on the platform.

While CNBC did not receive any specific pricing information from Spotify regarding the new feature, the company spokesperson said that it is looking into ways to “bring this service to even more podcasters globally.”

For instance, Spotify is already working on the upcoming new podcast from comedian Trevor Noah.

“This is just the beginning,” Spotify said in the release.

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