Spotify announces trial of AI-generated playlists using prompts

Earlier this fall, Spotify was found to be developing a new feature that would allow its streaming app users to create playlists using AI technology and prompts. Now, that “AI playlists” feature has been spotted in the wild, as part of a test that to see how users will respond to AI-driven playlist creation. Here, a pop-up menu appears and the AI playlist feature is a new option underneath the existing “Playlist” and “Blend” options. The feature’s description reads “Turn your ideas into playlists using AI” and notes that it’s currently only available in English. It remains to be seen if and when the new AI feature goes live to the public.

Earlier this fall, Spotify was discovered to be working on a groundbreaking feature – giving its users the ability to create playlists with the help of AI technology and prompts. Recently, this feature was spotted in the wild as part of a test to gauge the response from users. Though the company has confirmed the test to TechCrunch, details about the technology and its launch remain a mystery.

The feature was unveiled in a TikTok video by user @robdad_, who wrote, “I just randomly discovered Spotify’s ChatGPT?” According to the screenshots shared, the AI playlists feature can be found in the “Your Library” tab on the app. By tapping on the plus (+) button at the top right of the screen, a pop-up menu appears, with the AI playlist feature being a new option alongside “Playlist” and “Blend.”

The description for the feature reads “Turn your ideas into playlists using AI” and currently, it is only available in English.

After choosing the option, users are taken to a screen where they can either type in their own prompt or browse through suggested prompts to get started. The video showed prompts like “get focused at work with instrumental electronica,” “fill in the silence with background café music,” “get pumped up with fun, upbeat, and positive songs,” and “explore a niche genre like Witch House.”

In the video, the user selected the latter prompt and the AI chatbot responded with “Processing your request…” and then presented a sample playlist. From this screen, users have the option to swipe left to remove any songs they do not want, to further refine the playlist.

In October, TechCrunch had reported that references to this groundbreaking AI feature were discovered in the Spotify mobile app by tech veteran Chris Messina. However, at the time, Spotify declined to confirm its plans surrounding AI playlists, stating that they would not comment on rumors.

When asked about the AI feature, a Spotify spokesperson stated that the company regularly conducts tests and experiments, and some of these pave the way for new experiences while others serve as learning opportunities. They added, “We do not have any further information to share at this time.”

Though there is no definite launch date for AI playlists, Spotify has steadily been investing in AI technology and its applications throughout its app. This includes the launch of an AI DJ at the beginning of the year, offering personalized playlists and commentary in a voice based on Spotify’s head of cultural partnerships, Xavier ‘X’ Jernigan. This feature became available globally in August.

Spotify’s head of Personalization, Ziad Sultan, spoke about the launch of the AI DJ and the company’s extensive research on large language models, generative voice, and personalization. He also mentioned that the company aims to be recognized for its expertise in AI.

CEO Daniel Ek has hinted at other potential uses for AI within the company, including using it to summarize podcasts and create audio ads automatically. In addition, he has spoken about AI’s role in music creation, imagining artists using AI tools to create new songs. Spotify has also explored AI for creating host-read podcast ads that sound human-like and uses AI to power its personalization technologies. Therefore, it is not surprising that the company has turned to AI for one of its most popular use cases – playlist creation.

It is still unknown when the AI feature will be available to the public. In the meantime, if you have access to the feature, let us know your thoughts on its effectiveness and functionality.

(Sarah Perez)is available at (415) 234-3994 on Signal.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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