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Norwegian media and artificial intelligence in practice: AI-powered transcription and market services

The debate about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will reshape various industries has exploded as of late, especially after the launch ChatGPT. Here are some ways AI is being put to use by Norwegian media, as discussed during a recent meeting of the Norwegian Online News Association (NONA).

Teknisk Ukeblad (TU) Media has developed its own AI-powered tool to transcribe audio recordings and to  subtitle videos based on Whisper from OpenAI, supported by programming in Java and Phyton.

Every day, the tool saves hours of work in the newsroom.

TU is currently focusing on how to improve the tool's speed, which of course is critical when people are out working in the field and video and/or audio needs to be published quickly. Eirik Helland Urke, responsible for photo, video and multimedia at TU and developer Sebastian Hagemo gave an interesting introduction on this.

Schibsted-owned VG has also developed an AI-based transcription tool – and will soon make it available in AppStore. Johannes Gorset, director of engineering at VG, told the meeting how the tool, “JOJO”, saves journalists hours of work – and promised that VG soon will make it available for everyone to download via AppStore and run on ones own servers.

Interestingly, in the early stage of developing this tool the programmers experimented with using Amazon Sweden cloud storage, which of course didn’t provide the necessary security for protecting sources. This is essentially why VG created an app: to ensure that the solution runs locally and is secure.

This is, of course, is of vital importance when working with major investigative podcasts on issues such as true crime or other controversial topics such as VG has had great success with. has an interesting article on JOJO, written with the help of JOJO.

At financial daily Dagens Næringsliv (DN), language models are used to strengthen DN Investor, the newspaper's stock exchange and market service.

Martin Kermit, Head of Data Science at DN-owner DN Media Group, told the audience how large amounts of text are analyzed using natural language technology (NLP) to strengthen DN Investor, the media house's stock exchange and market service - which combines share prices with journalism.

Users get access to share prices on the Oslo Stock Exchange together with news about developments in the markets.

The service also contains a number of useful tools, such as notifications when something special happens on topics the users follow.

AI is used to (quick notes):

  • Automatically identify companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange mentioned in a DN article (and only relevant companies). This is based on Natural language processing (NLP). It’s a challenge that NLP is not necessarily so steady in Norwegian, so DN has collaborated with Nowegian media company Amedia on developing language models based on the framework spaCy, as well as language information from Nome and NDT. The NLP language model is trained using the content of these two media groups. Most important component: Named entity recognition (NER). Practical use: integration in the CMS - it's implemented as a plugin in Dr. Publish (the CMS runs on). The company is added automatically, the reporter has the option of editing.
  • DN has several projects with NLP language technology: Automatic categorization of news, article recommendations for further reading etc.

Interestingly: The language model must be constantly updated with new words, e.g., corona - when the pandemic hit, the tool was just unable to decipher that word.

Disclosures: I’ve co-founded and was the founding president of NONA and am of course a big fan of their work even though I no longer have any official role in the organization. I’ve also worked for VG and Journalisten

The Humanoid Future of Journalism

NB: Written in 2018: - We’ve seen a 25 per cent decrease of journalists in Sweden in recent years. There are no longer enough journalists to do what journalists should do, said Robin Govik, Chief Digital Officer at, Sweden’s leading local media company at the annual conference of Norwegian Online News Association (NONA) in 2018.

In 2015 the company started experimenting with robot journalism.

Not necessarily to replace journalists with robots, but to broaden its coverage and provide coverage of things journalists wouldn’t normally cover or have the capacity to write a zillion stories on – such as all individual property sales in a given neighbourhood, the weather, local businesses and local sports matches (including in lower divisions   newspapers wouldn’t normally cover).

The company started its property service, where robots write all the copy, in September 2017, and within four months robots had written more than 10,000 articles on property sales.

According to a survey by, conducted among 102 readers, 68 per cent of respondents said they didn’t notice articles had been written by a robot.

Among the reasons Govik thinks the future of journalism is humanoid, are the opportunities for personalisation and hyperlocal content.

More about the homeowners bot here, and in this video.

Govik gave a talk on a similar topic at this year’s SXSW in Austin, some highlights here.