NTM hosts Innovation Day to surface AI solutions for the company

By Jens Pettersson


Stockholm, Sweden


The key question at the top of all our minds right now is how we bring value to our companies by using Artificial Intelligence? NTM decided to bring together a large group of employees from all parts of the Swedish local media conglomerate to get up to speed up on that challenge.

“AI technology has become increasingly advanced, accessible, and is part of many people’s everyday lives,” said Nicholas Gullberg, head of innovation in NTM’s tech department and initiator of the convening. “Within NTM, there is potential to benefit from this technology. Therefore, I proposed that our tech department, together with selected parts of the business, arrange Innovation Day to explore innovative ideas on how NTM can use AI technology going forward.”

Innovation Day brought together a range of people who offered insight into how NTM can embrace AI within the company.
Innovation Day brought together a range of people who offered insight into how NTM can embrace AI within the company.

The purpose of the day was to create a deeper understanding and seed inspiration on how NTM can benefit from AI technology. The participants, who represented different parts of our business areas, were invited to work on developing proposals for products, create understanding, and/or develop cases linked to AI. These ideas were presented to a jury, which selected the best idea.

“We see this as a playful way to encourage our employees to think outside the box, learn more about AI, and be challenged by how we as an organisation can benefit from the technology,” Gullberg said.

Unlike a “regular” hack day where only developers participate, Innovation Day was open to everyone. The ability to code was not a participation requirement.

“It was fun and, above all, inspiring to take part. The fact that the skills and differentiation of departments among the participants were very mixed meant there was an exciting mix of ideas and thoughts in the proposals that were presented,” said Jörgen Bröms, who is responsible for editorial education at NTM. “Next time, maybe we should mix it up even more and decide to put developers and, for example, editorial staff in mixed groups even more.”

Each participating group had a chance to come up with a proposal on how to integrate AI at NTM.
Each participating group had a chance to come up with a proposal on how to integrate AI at NTM.

Bröms, who works in the editorial department, participated in one of those mixed groups. Caroline Pauli, a product owner employed with the tech department also participated in that group. “We put forward a proposal for an AI robot that would help us test different publishing patterns and, based on the statistics, then be able to help us make decisions about which articles should be published at which time to get maximum reach on the site,” Pauli said.

Their contribution to the competition did not win this time. Instead, an idea on integrating a range of AI-powered tools directly into NTM’s CMS 360 won the jury’s approval.

“Our contribution was using a large language model and the article texts to produce automated suggestions on some different ways of getting deeper reader engagement,” said Christoffer Alf, a system developer. “For instance, suggestions like proposing poll questions and answering options, questions for discussion initiation, summaries of various lengths, and also a sentiment analysis of articles to decide if it was positive or negative news.”

Nils Olauson, head of editorial organisation at NTM, was one of the jury members. “It was exciting to see how virtually all contributions were proposals for solutions to actual problems and challenges that we have within our company,” Olauson said. “In addition, they were all creative and business-oriented solutions. If we can implement just half of these proposals, it will take us well ahead.”

So, did Innovation Day offer NTM any new insights about AI or about the company’s operations? “We already know that AI can do a lot and will affect large parts of our everyday life, but what strikes me after a day like this is that we are already there,” Olauson said. “With relatively small funds we can come up with solutions that facilitate, streamline, and develop our business. It’s awesome.”

Gullberg was also very happy with the outcome of the day. “I’m deeply impressed by everyone’s innovativeness, even employees who don’t necessarily have a close connection to AI solutions really got into the technology and presented innovative ideas,” Gullberg said. “I think it is clear that we as an organisation should work more with this technology, but at the same time be careful in selecting which areas where it does the most good and where we do not risk compromising our quality. There are also some ethical and credibility issues we need to take into account.”

About Jens Pettersson

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