Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

It’s a cliché at this level to say that podcasts (and, to a much less publicized extent, audiobooks) have a discovery downside. To assist repair that, Spotify introduced it’s utilizing Google Cloud’s AI instruments to enhance each content material discovery and personalised suggestions for its audio choices.

With this newest transfer, Spotify is utilizing Google Cloud’s LLMs (giant language fashions) to research the roughly 5 million podcasts and 350,000 audiobooks in its content material library with a aim of making an attempt to “increase” the metadata, in keeping with a press launch. (The Verge has reached out to Spotify to make clear precisely what “increase” means on this case). A podcast or audiobook’s metadata contains data just like the title, the identify of the host or creator, present notes, and different particulars — all of which come up within the search outcomes of podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

Google Cloud is Spotify’s sole cloud supplier, and as Protocol reported again in 2021, the 2 firms have been working collectively on extra providers.

Figuring out “dangerous” content material seems to be one other goal of Spotify’s Google Cloud AI experiment, although the corporate didn’t specify a lot about what that may entail. The platform’s guidelines for podcasters and musicians ban a number of forms of “delicate” and “harmful” content material — and it at the moment makes use of a mixture of automated expertise and human reviewers to implement these guidelines. The Verge has reached out to Spotify for extra particulars and can replace after we hear again. 

Google Cloud’s AI instruments may also be used to enhance Spotify’s personalised suggestions for podcasts and audiobooks. LLMs will probably be used to “higher perceive patterns behind customers’ favourite spoken content material,” which is able to presumably lead to higher tailor-made suggestions.

Presently, Spotify will counsel new podcasts and particular person episodes to listeners on their homescreen. On every podcast’s present web page, there’s additionally a “Extra like this part” with comparable podcasts. Each options might be hit-or-miss, as many customers have famous. (For instance, Spotify’s suggestions for Overheard at Nationwide Geographic embrace a podcast about nursing, one on bipolar dysfunction, and a real crime podcast.) 

Really helpful podcasts for listeners of “Overheard at Nationwide Geographic”.

Earlier this 12 months, Spotify rolled out an AI software for songs, AI DJ, which makes use of OpenAI’s generative AI instruments to create customized playlists. To this point, critiques of the characteristic have been blended. Spotify’s use of AI for spoken audio isn’t a standalone characteristic like AI DJ, however it’s an indication that the corporate is critical about enhancing the consumer expertise for its non-music choices.

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