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Spotify will use AI to replicate and translate podcasters’ voices

CANNES, FRANCE – JUNE 20: Spotify’s CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Ek (L) joins author and comedian Trevor Noah to discuss the future of storytelling at Spotify Beach on June 20, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Spotify)

David M. Benett | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Spotify on Monday announced a new artificial intelligence-powered feature that can translate podcasts into different languages using the host’s own voice.

The company said the feature relies on OpenAI’s voice generation technology, which was also announced Monday. The technology can create “realistic synthetic voices” from just a few seconds of speech, OpenAI said in a release. Spotify said it will help make the podcast listening experience more authentic and natural by maintaining podcasters’ “distinctive speech characteristics.”

Shares of Spotify were down around 2% Monday morning. Spotify did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The company worked with podcasters like Dax Shepard, Lex Fridman, Monica Padman, Steven Bartlett and Bill Simmons on a select number of past and upcoming episodes. Spotify said the episodes were initially translated into Spanish, French and German, and they will be available to both free users and paid subscribers in the coming days and weeks, according to the release.

Spotify said it plans to make the feature accessible for more creators and languages in the future. The company is already working on the comedian Trevor Noah’s upcoming new podcast, for instance.

“This is just the beginning,” Spotify said in the release.

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