Spotify has today announced it is piloting Voice Translation for podcasts, a new feature powered by AI that translates podcasts into additional languages. But what makes this such big news is the language translations will all be in the same podcaster’s voice.
Image this – hearing Joe Rogan in English, while your Spanish neighbour listen to the same episode in Spanish, also hosted by the real Joe Rogan (ok… The AI version of Joe).
This technology has been developed in-house by Spotify, but leverages OpenAI’s newly released voice generation technology. This matches the original speaker’s style, making for a more authentic listening experience that sounds more personal and natural than traditional dubbing so a podcast episode originally recorded in English can be available in other languages while keeping the speaker’s distinctive speech characteristics.
“By matching the creator’s own voice, Voice Translation gives listeners around the world the power to discover and be inspired by new podcasters in a more authentic way than ever before,” said Ziad Sultan, Spotify’s Vice President of Personalization.
“We believe that a thoughtful approach to AI can help build deeper connections between listeners and creators, a key component of Spotify’s mission to unlock the potential of human creativity.”
Spotify names top podcasters involved in pilot
So, the Spanish Joe Rogan might still be some time away. However, five there popular podcasters are taking part in the AI Voice Translation pilot.
Spotify says it has “worked closely” with Dax Shepard, Monica Padman, Lex Fridman, Bill Simmons, and Steven Bartlett to generate AI-powered voice translations in other languages including Spanish, French, and German, for a select number of catalog episodes and future episode releases.
“We’re also looking forward to including other shows, such as Dax Shepard’s eff won with DRS, The Rewatchables from The Ringer, and Trevor Noah’s new original podcast, which launches later this year,” said Spotify in a new release.
Want to hear Steven Bartlett in Spanish? Check this out.
Spotify is rolling these out to users on the Now Playing View of supported episodes starting this week.
There is also a dedicated Voice Translations Hub, which Spotify says will be updated with more voice-translated episodes over the coming weeks and months.