Spotify’s latest AI feature builds playlists based on text descriptions – The Verge

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‘Make me feel like a vampire hunter from Blade’

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After experimenting with AI playlist generation in its DJ feature last year, Spotify is now launching a beta tool that allows users to create a curated tracklist based on text descriptions. Its new AI Playlist beta is initially rolling out to Spotify Premium subscribers on mobile devices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Android and iOS users in those locations can find the AI Playlist generator by heading into “Your Library” and tapping the “+” button at the top-right of the page. After selecting the AI Playlist option from the drop-down menu, users can type in a prompt — such as “music to read to on a cold, rainy day” — to get a playlist of 30 songs that match that vibe. The results can be tweaked using additional prompts like “more sad music” until the user is satisfied with the playlist, at which point it can be saved by tapping “create” at the top right.

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In my testing, AI Playlists did an impressive job of matching songs to niche prompts. For example, it spat out a delightful mix of rave-appropriate techno music when I asked it to generate a playlist that would “make me feel like a vampire hunter from Blade (1998)” and even titled the playlist as “Blade’s Essence” without additional input. Spotify says that users will get better playlists by using prompts that contain “a combination of genres, moods, artists, or decades,” and that places, animals, activities, movie characters, colors, and even emojis can be referenced by the feature. Spotify says it will continue working on its generative playlist feature “over the coming months.”

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There are a few limitations to be aware of — AI Playlists won’t produce results for non-music-related prompts like current events or specific brands, and there are “measures in place around prompts that are offensive,” for example. 

Using it has been a fun experience so far. It’s a much faster way to throw together an ensemble than manually building a playlist, and provides some functionality as a music discovery tool for those who want to find new tunes that follow a specific aesthetic. That already makes it feel more useful than Spotify’s AI DJ, which generates a custom playlist based on your entire listening history with limited options to curate the final results.

The new feature could, however, also be a contributing factor in the price increases Spotify is expected to introduce later this year. At the moment, Premium subscriptions start at $5.99 per month for students or $10.99 for individuals. We have asked Spotify when other regions can expect the beta and will update this story if we hear back.

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