If you like listening to podcasts, you can sometimes get frustrated when English is not your native language. Many podcast hosts speak English, which can make it difficult to listen to their shows without knowledge of the language. As more and more translation tools are being developed, AI is leading the way in efforts to improve the accessibility of this type of content. Now Spotify has announced that it will use AI to solve this very common problem for some of its listeners.
Spotify confirmed on its website that it intends to use OpenAI’s voice generation technology to translate podcasts on its platform. Initially, the resource will be launched in Spanish, but intends to continue with translations in French and German in the near future. Podcasters such as Monica Padman, Bill Simmons and Dax Shepard are helping Spotify with the initiative.
They have reportedly helped translate past and future episodes of their shows via AI (via CNBC). Both free and premium Spotify users can listen to the translated podcasts. The voices are described by OpenAI as “realistic” but “synthetic”.
Spotify noted that AI translations will feel more “personal and natural” as opposed to traditional dubbing.” The purpose of using AI is to maintain distinctions in the voices of the hosts, according to the company. After all, many listeners flock to the podcast format not only because of the content itself, but also because of the personalities of the people presenting the content.
This is just one of the AI initiatives that the streaming giant has recently launched. Details of Spotify’s “Supremium” subscription tier were recently posted on Reddit, suggesting that AI could become a new incentive for subscriptions. Although the company has not yet confirmed the alleged details of the plan, at first it said that such a level was underway in 2021.
Now dedicated Spotify subscribers believe that it could be released in the near future, according to the code. One of the features that Supremium members can get is the creation of playlists using AI. Again, none of this has been officially announced, but it suggests that Spotify is looking for new ways to use the technology.
It is not yet known whether the podcast translation initiative will launch or not. However, it can be well received by subscribers who have a language preference. Spotify noted in its announcement that one of its goals is to deepen the connections between listeners and creators. If the language continues to be a barrier for podcasters, then this feature can easily be considered a gain in this regard, even if the final result is not perfect. However, all the costs associated with this could inevitably reduce its value.