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Spotify’s AI DJ arrives in the UK

By | Published on Wednesday 17 May 2023


Spotify’s AI DJ has only gone and arrived in the UK. He slipped in yesterday. Right past Home Secretary Suella Braverman who was too busy banging on about immigrants to notice that the machines are taking over.

Yes, that’s right, human radio DJs of Great Britain. We thank for your service. Your musical selections. Your time checks. Your dedications. Your travel reports. Your giveaways and your competitions. Your witty observations. Your pressing of a button that plays a record that someone else selected. Your constant inane chatter. We loved it. We loved you. But you can stand down now. The machines have it covered. Maybe.

“In February we unveiled DJ, a personalised AI guide that understands you and your music taste so well that it does the choosing for you”, says Spotify. “Now we’re excited to start rolling out DJ in beta to premium users across the UK and Ireland”.

“When users in the UK and Ireland tune in they will be greeted by a stunningly realistic AI voice, modelled after Spotify’s own Head Of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier ‘X’ Jernigan”, the official blurb rambles on. “Plus, they’ll be served songs and context geared towards them”.

“For example”, it explains, “users who tune in right around launch may hear about how Arlo Parks is releasing her newest album, ‘My Soft Machine’, at the end of May alongside her collab, ‘Phoenix’, with friend and longtime role model Phoebe Bridgers. And when it comes to an engaging listening experience, these moments of relevant context are winning DJ users over”.

I’m sure they are. Why wouldn’t they? “We’ve found that when DJ listeners hear commentary alongside personal music recommendations, they’re more willing to try something new”, Spotify then claims. “On days when users tune in, fans spend 25% of their listening time with DJ – and they keep coming back. More than half of first-time listeners come back to listen to DJ the very next day”.

“And DJ has especially resonated with Gen Z and Millennials, who make up 87% of DJ users”, it adds. “But this is just the beginning. DJ is still in beta, and we’ll continue to iterate and innovate to evolve the experience over time”.

Thanks for that Spotify. You couldn’t develop an AI Home Secretary for us while you’re at it, could you? I mean, maybe a machine can pick me some music and provide some background context as well as a human being, I don’t know. But when it comes to running the country, the AI wouldn’t need to do much to constitute a significant improvement.