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Interview with Xavier ‘X’ Jernigan, the voice of Spotify’s DJ

by Lauren Forristal, TechCrunch, April 21, 2023

In March, Spotify launched its first AI-powered feature with the debut of its AI DJ — a smart audio guide with a convincingly realistic voice. That AI persona was actually based on a real person, as it turns out — Spotify’s head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan, who had the honor of becoming the first voice model for the AI feature.

TechCrunch sat down with Jernigan to learn more about the process for training the AI and Spotify’s future plans for its AI DJ efforts.

(...) “I got pitched on being this voice model for DJ and my mind was blown when it was explained to me,” Jernigan told us. “Imagine if you’re hearing this for the first time you don’t have anything to look at and I’m just like, ‘Wait, what? It’s gonna be me but it’s not me, and it’s text and voice, but it’ll sound like me, and it’s AI?”

“For me, it was a new experience working with AI in this way. I was just blown away,” he added.


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