An AI streaming future? A rising DJ’s thoughts on Spotify’s new DJ feature


Photo Courtesy of Google Commons

In the past weeks, the popular music streaming service Spotify has begun rolling out a new feature. On all premium user accounts in the United States and Canada, a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) DJ has been made available. The feature is simple: when users click on the DJ icon, they will be met by an enthusiastic and easy-going Spotify MC, who walks them through what they’ll be listening to for the day. 

The AI itself uses the voice of former podcast and radio host, and current Spotify head of cultural partnerships Xavier “X” Jernigan. X starts off a session by greeting you, saying good morning, and explaining the vibe of the songs he has for you.

 “The things we talked about were friendly. Relatable, like your buddy. Knowledgeable, but not arrogant,” Jernigan said in an interview with Variety. 

The streaming platform uses a writer’s room to create new dialogue for the DJ that coincides with special occasions, pop culture moments, and new song releases from popular artists. 

For Spotify users, this adds a whole new dimension to the platform. Claude-Kaplow Healy, a young DJ from Brooklyn, New York has enjoyed using the new feature. 

“I have used the DJ feature, I think it’s super interesting because it shows me the capabilities of AI, and also gives me a chance to gain some ideas on songs to play in my own sets,” they explained. 

X takes the stress out of not knowing what songs to play or how to start off a listening session. 

“The DJ does help pick music when sometimes I’m confused,  it provides me with inspiration and it is super interesting and amusing, ” Kaplow-Healy added. 

Kaplow-Healy is passionate about DJing, and whether it’s picking songs for a crowd, or organizing playlists and setlists for friends, they are always involved in something musical. 

“I love collecting a variety of music, playing it for people, and making people dance. I can’t sing or play an instrument super well, but I do have this, I channeled my passions into something creative and I’m so glad I did,” They explained. 

The implementation of AI in daily life, in the form of a DJ or any other job, is daunting for many who consider those fields a passion and want to earn a living. AI poses an innovative yet concerning future. 

“It definitely scares me that soon AI is going to take over my favorite hobby and my job. Hopefully, AI DJs don’t become a threat, I don’t think they will because there is also such a live performance aspect to DJing which AI robots can’t do,” Kaplow-Healy finished.