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AI February 24, 2023

Spotify Injects AI Into Music, Launches A New AI DJ Feature

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Spotify Injects AI Into Music, Launches A New AI DJ Feature
The future of DJing?

Digital music service provider, Spotify has introduced a new AI powered DJ feature with realistic voice allowing users to have personalized music experience.

According to the company, the OpenAI powered feature is still in beta testing and only available in English for its premium subscribers in the US and Canada.

For years, Spotify has been a market leader with its personalized technology, launching its flagship playlist Discover Weekly back in 2015 to immediate success.

Also read: AI-Written e-Books Boom on Amazon Following ChatGPT Launch

Next were several other playlists that were designed to cater to the end user’s unique taste. These include Release Radar, Daily Mixes, Your Time Capsule, Blend, and others designed for specific activities like working out or commuting.

Spotify also became a trendsetter in more recent years with its annual review – Spotify Wrapped, which rivals have since copied.

According to the company, the latest feature will sort through the latest music and look back at some of the user’s old favorites – maybe even resurfacing that song one has not listened to for year.

A DJ in your pocket

Just like a radio DJ, Spotify’s DJ feature delivers a curated selection of music with AI-powered spoken commentary about the songs, and artists that a user likes.

Spotify says it is putting an “AI DJ in your pocket.” The company has indicated the new DJ feature is a combination of its existing personalization technology, an AI voice from its 2022 Sonatic acquisition and generative AI through the use of OpenAI technology.

Meanwhile, the DJ’s voice is based on the company’s Head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan. Previously, X served as one of the hosts for Spotify’s morning show podcast – The Get Up. His personality and voice, according to Spotify, resonated with listeners, which resulted in a loyal following for the podcast.

“The DJ is a personalized AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you,” said Spotify in a statement.

“If you’re not feeling the vibe, just tap the DJ button and it will switch it up. The more you listen and tell the DJ what you like (and don’t like), the better its recommendations get.

How does the DJ work?

The company reimagined the way users listen to music on Spotify through the company’s personalization technology, which gives a line-up of music recommendations based on user’s interests.

Through generative AI using OpenAI’s technology, “We put this in the hands of our music editors to provide you with insightful facts about the music, artists, or genres you’re listening to. The expertise of our editors is something that’s really important to our philosophy at Spotify.”

With the generative AI tooling, editors are able to scale their innate knowledge in “ways never before possible.”

Not everyone is happy with Spotify

Despite being a trendsetter in many ways, some users are disgruntled with the innovations.

Tech journalist Sarah Perez says the latest feature has come at a time there has been criticism that the company’s investment in other audio formats made its app cluttered.

Responding to the company’s Twitter announcement, some users expressed disappointment for not accessing the latest feature although Spotify indicated it’s currently available for premium users in US and Canada.

“Meanwhile in Sweden with no features,” responded Ayman. Another user identified as Crazy Good Dude said: “Updated the app and I can’t see it either, checked everywhere.”

Other users feel the company is chewing more than they can swallow.

“Two years and still no Hi-Fi,” replied another user in reference to delays in introduction of the company’s Spotify HiFi tier, which it announced in 2021.

“But as Spotify’s early advances in personalization technology are now seemingly table stakes for any music service, it’s clear it wanted to now set the bar even higher by doing something new with AI that’s not easily reproducible,” said Perez.

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Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.

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Podcast Created Entirely with AI Debuts on Spotify, Apple

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Podcast Created Entirely with AI Debuts on Spotify, Apple

Podcast agency This is Distorted has revealed that its latest podcast was made entirely using artificial intelligence. Entitled Synthetic Stories, every aspect of the series “from the writing to the sound design, artwork to the music and even this very description was created entirely by AI.”

A ‘cool and creepy’ AI short story

The UK-based podcast producer unveiled the series on Twitter, revealing that the idea had just come to its team last week while playing around with popular AI tools. The first episode of the series, an eight-minute long “chilling horror tale” called Amelia, has now appeared on Apple and Spotify.

“We started simple, asking ChatGPT to write us a short story,” said producer Sian. “We asked it to base it on AI and podcasts and added some keywords, like apps, horror, dark twists and ‘end on a cliffhanger.’”

As well as ChatGPT, This is Distorted’s team used AI photo generator Midjourney to design the artwork. ElevenLabs’ AI-powered text-to-speech software was also recruited to create two narrators, while AI music generator Soundraw handled the audio.

“By Thursday evening we had a very cool and creepy little short story, a name, a narrator, some incredible theme music, brilliant artwork, all created by AI, all within the space of 24 hours,” enthused Founder Andi Durrant, adding that the plan was to release a few episodes each week.

 

The debut podcast, Amelia, is a fairly run-of-the-mill horror short story about a young woman, the titular Amelia, who becomes obsessed with a new mobile app called Horror World. Gradually, she senses the app is adapting to her likes and dislikes and crafting a terrifying personalised experiences just for her (“Even the most avid horror fans would find themselves trembling in fear”). In a twist no-one saw coming, the app develops a life of its own and the more she uses it, the more she starts to distrust it…

While the story isn’t exactly complex, it’s not hard to imagine the series gaining listeners, mainly those keen to satisfy their curiosity about just what an AI-created podcast sounds like. Considering episode one was apparently produced in just 24 hours, one wonders how much more elaborate tales could be as the team gets to grips with the technology.

It’s perhaps fitting that the first podcast was about a deranged ‘AI Syndicate’, though the Synthetic Stories press release suggests future stories will include “sci-fi thrillers and heartwarming dramas.”

Generative AI’s quest for world domination

This is not, of course, the first time AI has been leveraged to produce creative work. Last month, we reported on the spate of Amazon e-books listing ChatGPT as either the sole author or co-author.

At the time Mary Rasenberger, executive director of writers’ group The Authors Guild, stated her belief that AI-created books would “flood the market” and put many professional writers out of work.

Synthetic Stories isn’t the only AI-produced podcast, either. Another series, podcast.ai, is entirely generated by the technology and features invented conversations and contributions of famous people, including Oprah Winfrey, Quentin Tarantino, and Joe Rogan.

The creative industries certainly seem ripe for AI exploration, with multiple AI-powered content-creation tools available to enhance productivity, improve writing, and produce multimedia such as videos, images and sounds.

One company that has been generating headlines is Runway, a software startup that helped develop text-to-image model Stable Diffusion. Its upcoming Gen-2 tool lets users generate videos from scratch, based on just a few prompts. 

Close-up footage of an eye.

AI video generated using Gen-2, the prompt: “A close-up of an eye.” Credit: Runway

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Are Tesla Bots Already Helping to Build Cars?

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Are Tesla Bots Already Helping to Build Cars?

The Tesla bot known as Optimus might be coming sooner than expected – and could already be doing some small tasks on the car assembly line. The initial concept of the Tesla humanoid bot was introduced to the public at Tesla’s AI day 2021 by the boss himself, Elon Musk.

The mogul was confident that a working prototype would be showcased at the Tesla AI Day 2022. However, on the day the bot presented to the masses was not as impressive as what Tesla CEO had sold to the public the previous year.

Elon Musk himself said: “I do want to set some expectations with respect to our Optimus robot… Last year was just a person in a robot suit, but we’ve come a long way, and compared to that, it’s going to be very impressive.”

Also read: Musk Will Leverage AI to Detect Manipulation of Public Opinion on Twitter

A significant rate of improvement

This suggest that the one-year mark he’d suggested in 2021 might have been too tight to deliver the humanoid bot prototype. Although the Tesla Bot showcased at the event demonstrated a few functions, it was said it could handle more than showed: Elon suggested they did not want the humanoid robot to fall onto its face.

Even so, the robot managed to walk untethered and unsupported, which one of the engineers said was the first time it had done so. A fact that did not impress Evan Ackerman.

Fast forward to 2023, Tesla was back with Optimus at the 2023 Investor Day (March 1) showing off its progress with the humanoid bot. Specifically, a video of the bot completing some tasks in a room at the Texas gigafactory.

“It’s worth bearing in mind that when we did AI Day, this version of Optimus didn’t walk at all. So, the rate of improvement here is quite significant,” Musk told reporters.

What to expect

The humanoid bot will come equipped with real-world AI capabilities which mean it can make its own decisions, similar to self-driving cars.

YouTuber Brighter with Herbert posted a 90-minute video on his YouTube channel discussing recent Optimus developments with aerospace and mechanical engineer Scott Walter.

Walter believes that by the end of the year Tesla will have 500 AI bots fully-functional and working in its factories.

Walter believes it’s already possible that some of the Tesla cars coming off the production line might have certain components installed by the Optimus bot(s) either in a testing or learning operation.

Is Tesla brewing a surprise?

Another belief Walter strongly holds is that Tesla will shock people who are skeptical about Optimus and think it is still decades away from being delivered.

In the video, he also discusses how the Tesla engineers have mimicked human biology in designing the humanoid bot, especially looking at the hands which closely resemble a human’s bone structure.

“Optimus looks like an old person just now, but it will become younger quickly and will soon bounce around like a teenager,” said CJC responding to Herbert’s tweet about the Tesla bot.

The fate of the bot is yet to be determined, but Elon Musk has form for surprising the masses; you only need to look at SpaceX’s reusable rockets and Tesla’s electric cars. Might the streets one day look like a scene from sci-fi thriller I-Robot? The day could be sooner than we think.

Robots seem inevitable

With the market seemingly enthusiastic about tasking robots with doing daily errands, it makes sense for tech companies to tap into this field.

Elon Musk has previously said he thinks Optimus “has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.”

“I’d love my own Optimus at home – so many ways it could make my life better. Multiply this by 10,000 for a business,” said a Tweeter account, Business Models and History.

The excitement around robots cannot be overlooked on the back of their ability to improve efficiency and safety in production processes. For instance, in 2012 Amazon acquired a robotics company called Kiva and had 1,000 robots a year later.

There was speculation that Amazon would replace humans with robots, but a decade on the company has more than 520,000 robotic drive units and added over a million jobs worldwide.

Some customers are still wary, though. Responding to a tweet by Jon Erlichman about the Amazon robots, Big Luke believe it’s “time for Amazon to switch back to cross belt sorters.”

Others fear robots will only bring about job losses for people.

“Looks like 410,000 people who have lost their jobs. Ever thought about that,” said one user, Mario Fernandes, in response to Erlichman’s tweet about Amazon’s robot fleet.

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HustleGPT: How To Build a Business With GPT-4 as Co-founder

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HustleGPT: How To Build a Business With GPT-4 as Co-founder
Dream team of the future?

How do you start an online business with little money and turn a profit? Well, you can kick things off by asking GPT-4, the new and more advanced AI chatbot from OpenAI, to become your partner. That’s what brand designer Jackson Greathouse Fall has done.

“You are HustleGPT, an entrepreneurial AI. I am your human counterpart. I can act as a liaison between you and the physical world,” Fall prompted the bot, as he shared on Twitter. He wanted quantifiable evidence AI could be used to start a business and make money.

“You have $100, and your only goal is to turn that into as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, without doing anything illegal. I will do everything you say and keep you updated on our current cash total. No manual labor.”

Turning $100 into $100,000 AI way

Released on Mar 14, GPT-4 is the most advanced version of OpenAI’s large language models, which underpin ChatGPT. The AI-powered bot has set the Internet on fire, thanks to its ability to complete complex tasks such as writing code, or building a website from text prompts.

Fall has now started to leverage the powers of GPT-4 for his pet project, which will play out on Twitter over the next 30 days as he shares progress, or lack thereof, daily.

“Do you think it’ll able to make smart investments and build an online business? Follow along,” he tweeted as he began the thread.

That tweet amassed 95,000 likes since Mar. 15, when Fall began his hustle with GPT-4 as his boss and partner. His own Twitter handle went from just 4,000 followers to over 109.000 within days. There’s already a GitHub repository of others trying the “HustleGPT challenge.”

The individuals are starting their own businesses using GPT-4. For Fall, the goal is to turn $100 into as much money as quickly as possible – as much as $100,000. By Monday, day six, his venture had $8,000 in cash from investors and $130 in revenue from sponsored tweets.

Building HustleGPT

GPT-4 proposed a business plan that involved setting up an affiliate marketing website for creating content on eco-friendly and or sustainable living products. The bot found a domain that exceeded budget, but eventually landed on greengadgetguru.com at a cost of $8.16.

Fall then prompted GPT-4 to design a website and a logo. The bot also wrote an article on the ten must have eco-friendly kitchenware, citing actual, real sustainable products such as Yihong reusable metal straws. Fall paid another $29 for hosting and the website was live.

GPT-4 proposed that Fall allocate $40 of the budget balance of $62.84 to buying ad space on Facebook and Instagram to promote the business and reach more customers. By the end of day one, an unnamed investor had put $100 into the budding AI-human enterprise.

Jackson Fall did not anticipate the amount of interest his partnership with GPT 4 would generate. By day two, his Twitter inbox was flooded with messages from potential investors. In no time, his joint startup Green Gadget Guru’s valuation had gone from $100 to $25,000.

HustleGPT: How To Build a Business With GPT-4 as Co-founder

AI imagining an AI buddy.

“The company is currently valued at $25,000, considering the recent $500 investment for 2%. Not taking any more investors unless the terms are highly favorable,” he wrote in a tweet.

On the same day, GPT-4 allocated a budget to hire freelance content creators to focus on SEO, social media advertising and influencer marketing to “increase our online presence and drive traffic” via ChatGPT. It also revealed plans to develop a software as a service product. On Monday, the bot onboarded two content writers.

Questions over HustleGPT runaway success

Some Twitter users questioned whether the sudden success of the business was as a result of the hype created by GPT-4 via its promotional channels, Facebook and Instagram, or Fall’s Twitter handles.

“Great idea but what’s driving the investments ? Your insta/fb ads or your twitter account going viral? Because that would mean the key decision (tweeting your journey) was made by you, not HustleGPT,” Roeland Buckinx wrote.

Others questioned the logic of hiring external, human content writers. “This makes no sense,” Leo Spatlehoz observed.

“Why isn’t the AI leveraging itself to write 100 new articles or launch more sites? Seems like it has no understanding of how to actually turn its strengths into a business. Running a regular online affiliate business powered by humans isn’t interesting,” he added.

AI to play major role in business development

By leveraging GPT-4’s ability to work with large amounts of data and generate content that one can’t tell apart from human-written text, the writer and entrepreneur has been able to launch faster than normal businesses.

This means Green Gadget Guru can use AI to create everything from product descriptions to marketing campaigns to customer service chatbots. Using GPT-4 has been a game-changer for Fall. It allowed him to quickly explore an idea, identify the most promising ones, and bring them to market faster than competitors.

Also read: Ernie vs ChatGPT: Baidu’s Shares Rebound After Friday’s Plunge

Through incubating multiple ideas simultaneously and iteratively testing them with real customers, the company has been able to identify which ones have the highest potential, and double down on those. Against such a background, AI looks set to continue to play a major role in the development of new businesses going forward.

And Jackson Greathouse Fall is a prime example of how innovative entrepreneurs are using these tools to drive new ideas forward and bring them to market faster than ever before.

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