Spotify is piloting a major new feature, one that would translate podcasts into other languages — while still using the podcaster’s voice.
Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, but the language barrier can sometimes be an impediment. Spotify is working to address that, leveraging OpenAI’s latest innovations.
The company announced the development in a website post:
Today, we’re excited to pilot Voice Translation for podcasts, a groundbreaking feature powered by AI that translates podcasts into additional languages—all in the podcaster’s voice.
This Spotify-developed tool leverages the latest innovations—one of which is OpenAI’s newly released voice generation technology—to match the original speaker’s style, making for a more authentic listening experience that sounds more personal and natural than traditional dubbing. A podcast episode originally recorded in English can now be available in other languages while keeping the speaker’s distinctive speech characteristics.
As part of the pilot, we’ve worked closely with podcasters 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.
The news is a big step forward for the podcasting industry, as well as communication in general.
“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,” says Ziad Sultan, VP 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.”