On Monday, Spotify rolled out a limited pilot program that uses AI to automatically translate podcasts into various languages, using voice synthesis technology from OpenAI to preserve the original speaker’s voice. The feature aims to offer a more authentic listening experience compared to traditional dubbing. It could also introduce language errors that are difficult for non-native speakers to detect, since machine translation is far from a perfect technology.
In its press release announcing the program, Spotify says it is a platform that allows creators to share their work around the world. Then it asks a question: “With recent advancements, we’ve been wondering: Are there more ways we can bridge the language gap so that these voices can be heard worldwide?”
Spotify’s answer is Voice Translation, which can reportedly translate English voices into Spanish, French, and German while retaining the distinctive vocal characteristics of the speaker. The feature is currently being used with only select podcasters, such as Dax Shepard, Monica Padman, Lex Fridman, Bill Simmons, and Steven Bartlett.