Spotify Using AI to Translate Podcasters' Original Voices to Additional Languages

Spotify this week announced an AI translation feature for podcasters that could give it an edge over Apple's podcasting platform. Voice Translation for podcasts uses artificial intelligence to translate podcasts into additional languages using the original podcaster's voice.

General Spotify Feature
While Spotify developed the tool, it is using OpenAI's latest voice generation technology. It learns the original speaker's voice and style and then translates the podcast into another language. Spotify says that this system will provide a "more authentic listening experience" that is more natural and personal than standard dubbing. Podcasts translated this way will retain the speaker's distinctive speech characteristics.

Spotify is testing Voice Translation at the current time, and is working with podcasters like Dax Shepard, Monica Padman, Bill Simmons, Steven Bartlett, and Lex Fridman to create AI-powered voice translations in languages like Spanish, French, and German for both existing episodes and future podcast episodes.

Voice-translated episodes are available worldwide to Premium and Free users. An initial bundle of translated episodes in Spanish are available now, with French and German rolling out "in the coming days and weeks." According to Spotify, the pilot program will provide "important insights" for future expansion and iteration.

While Apple does not have a competing tool at this time for the Podcasts platform, it is experimenting with AI voice technology. In iOS 17, Apple added a Personal Voice feature that allows you to use AI to create a replica of your voice. Right now, this is an accessibility feature that Apple has designed for those who are at risk of losing their ability to speak, but it stands to reason that Apple could use voice replication in other areas in the future.

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Top Rated Comments

icanhazmac Avatar
9 months ago
No way I would ever allow another entity to "create" content in my voice. Before you know it you are getting canceled and apologizing for an AI error that caused "you" to say some horrific stuff in a language you don't even speak.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
9 months ago

I mean if it works reasonably well, why not? Wider audience and more revenue for the podcast.
There will definitely be many bad and messed up translations.

Relying on algorithms alone to translate languages is notoriously and famously difficult.

Anyone who has used YouTube or Instagram's translators knows how bad it is. Sometimes the meaning is changed completely.

Instagram translates my Chinese and Japanese friends posts wrong 50% of the time and converts their words into dumbed down American ghetto slang, which not only is a mistranslation but also paints people in a bad light.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrfunnypenguin Avatar
9 months ago
Have they completely forgot about HiFi?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
9 months ago

I don’t see an issue with this. Everyone issue with AI (including mine) is lack of consent and getting payed for these AI companies stealing your work. If an artist agrees and is payed for their work getting used, I don’t see an issue.
Apple people see issues because this is a Spotify story. Take this one down, wait a day or two and put it back up as an Apple Podcasts story and we'll be gushing at Apple genius for the same thing. "We" are a very fair weather crowd. If it's an Apple innovation, it is genius. If it is an Apple competitor innovation, no one needs it, it's buggy as h*ll, it will never work right, security, privacy, risk of death/murder/mayhem/et all.

If it works pretty well, this seems great to me: great for Spotify, great for the podcasters, great for listeners who would like to hear some podcasts but in their own supported languages (even if there are some translation errors). Hopefully competition moves Apple to come up with the same or better ASAP. Competition is always good.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zakarhino Avatar
9 months ago

any source about the android system implementation ?
None, I'm speculating this feature will be the next step up from the on device captions they already do. Apple added this last year or this year I think. Google have been doing it for years.

"All captions are processed locally, never stored, and never leave your device."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
9 months ago

I cannot stand watching movies where non native speakers do voiceovers. I much prefer subtitles.

Since Podcasts have overall not created growth for Spotify I presume that at some point they might drop them.
OK and OK. Apparently this has no benefit for you. Last I checked, there are other people in the world. Perhaps it's something THEY might appreciate while Spotify continues to offer them?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)