The phrase “artificial intelligence,” also known as AI, has become ubiquitous in 2023, but exactly what it does or what it means for industries can be elusive for most. According to a quick google search, Artificial intelligence is “a field of science concerned with building computers and machines that can reason, learn, and act in such a way that would normally require human intelligence or that involves data whose scale exceeds what humans can analyze.” In simpler terms, AI is a computer or machine that can act with human capabilities.
It has become widely used in the past few years in various industries ranging from finance to transportation. Recently we’ve also witnessed the rise in popularity of programs like ChatGPT, which is an AI-generated chat box. Users can give it a prompt to which it will create a unique response. For example the prompt “write a four paragraph essay explaining how WW2 happened” will produce a detailed and completely original response. In the artistic sphere, people now have the ability to create completely ‘original’ pieces with the help of AI. Although some people agree with this type of use, others argue that it takes away from real artists and many people do not support it. So, how does this impact the music business?
Right now, AI is a consequential talking point in the music business world—from AI-generated lyrics to voice-mimicking capabilities, it has created quite the buzz. Spotify is joining the hype with its brand new personalization tech powered by AI. This new “AI DJ in your pocket” is a guide that knows you and your tastes, and can curate brand new playlists based on that information. Moreover, Spotify will deliver AI commentary with “stunningly realistic voices.” They claim that this AI will empower its music experts to better do their jobs and better help users.
At this point, it’s too early to tell what exactly the future holds, but AI appears to be here to stay. Spotify’s AI DJ was released on February 23 and is currently a Beta Software for premium users in the U.S. and Canada. So, of course, I tested it out for you.
On my first listen, the AI introduced itself and explained to me the process—and I must say it sounded very human-like! Then, it curated a playlist from my past and current listening history, and songs it believed I would like. And if you don’t like what’s playing, you can just press the small blue button in the bottom right and it’ll change the vibe.
The DJ also explains everything as it’s happening. Depending on the function it might say something like “here are some rap songs based on your recent listening history” or “these are some R&B songs our editors think you might like”. It will even introduce the artist and say the name of the song. If you like what’s playing it will keep that genre in rotation for a few songs. If you skip multiple songs back-to-back it’ll come back and let you know it’s changing the vibe. While the feature is cool it obviously doesn’t emulate a DJ, it’s more so just a playlist with artificial intelligence.
This new feature is definitely innovative on Spotify’s part, maybe after a few additional features it’ll be even more impressive. As the rollout continues and expands to more people, it will be interesting to see what kind of feedback they get and how others will feel about it. For now, I can’t say I will be using it every day. So what are your feelings about Spotify’s AI DJ?
Taijahnai Scott is a student at the University of Georgia studying Marketing and Music Business with hopes of finding a job in music marketing post grad. Growing up she always had a deep love and cultural connection to music, especially Hip-Hop/Rap, Pop, R&B and NeoSoul. She is fascinated with all things music including the business aspect of it. She hopes to bring her opinions to the Athens music scene and expanding her tastes.