Spotify won't remove all AI-generated content, as it rolls out some of its own

Weeks after removing AI-generated songs that mimic real artists, Spotify's new podcast feature does exactly that.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Spotify logo on a phone with headphones behind it
Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images

If there were any questions as to how music streaming giant Spotify planned on handling AI content, we got a few answers today. 

Fresh on the heels of an interview where its CEO said the company isn't going to remove all AI-generated content from the platform, just songs that impersonate a real artist, Spotify announced an artificial intelligence-enabled feature that does just that -- translates a podcast recorded in English into other languages in the speaker's original voice.

Also: The best headphones for music

In an interview with BBC News, the CEO of Spotify Daniel Ek said that artificial intelligence in the world of music is something that's going to be debated for a long time. In the past few months, AI-generated content like Elvis singing the Sir Mix-a-Lot hit "Baby Got Back," and Drake and The Weeknd collaborating on "Heart on My Sleeve" has gone viral on TikTok. Those created songs were uploaded and then subsequently removed from Spotify.

But AI songs still have a place on Spotify.

The technology does have valid uses, Ek said. Songs that impersonate someone without their consent will be pulled, but the middle ground, where songs may just be inspired by an artist without actually claiming to be them or songs that are entirely AI-generated, can stay. 

Also: How to better organize your Spotify Playlists with folders

At the same time though, Spotify is rolling out a feature for podcasts that does impersonate the hosts. The difference, of course, is that these creators have consented. 

The tool is among the first to use the new voice-generating feature from OpenAI, which just announced new capabilities for ChatGPT, that can replicate someone's voice with just a few seconds sample of their speech.

For certain podcasts, which right now include Bill Simmons, Monica Padman, Dax Shepard, and Steven Bartlett, episodes are available in Spanish in an AI-generated recreation of the original speaker's voice. Podcasts from Trevor Noah and The Ringer are expected to be added soon, as are episodes in French and German.

Also: 10 best podcasts and YouTube channels for Apple analysis

This means users might be able to hear a podcast in their language that keeps the creators' distinctive style and nuance. 

"We believe that a thoughtful approach to AI can help build deeper connections between listeners and creators," wrote Ziad Sultan, VP of personalization at Spotify, "a key component of Spotify's mission to unlock the potential of human creativity."

The feature is available to all Spotify users, both free and premium. A full list of translated works is available on Spotify's "Voice Translation" page.

Editorial standards