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News as Music

Together with Aftonbladet, we turned one of the ideas from our News Changemaker Program into a testable prototype where news was shared through AI-generated music.


In the News Changemaker program (which you can read about in more detail here), we partnered with a community youth centre in the Stockholm suburb of Hallonbergen and hired ten 16-19 year-olds from their network for a co-creation process. The Changemaker's task was two-fold: 1) identify existing problems that affect their consumption of and trust in editorial news media, and 2) create speculative solutions ("concept prototypes"). One of the ideas coming from the News Changemakers was that news would be more enjoyable if they came in the form of music.

WHAT WE DID IN/LAB and Aftonbladet decided to test how generative AI might support a music-empowered news experience. Leveraging the services Mubert and Uberduck, we worked with the design studio EY Doberman to create a "provocatype" (a prototype which is here to provoke conversations and ideas)

The result of our work was a prototype news experience where users could choose between:

  1. Reading an AI-generated summary of the news to the beat of AI-generated music, which enhances the experience.

  2. Listening to AI-generated rap songs, based on a news text.

The experience was tested live on the front page of Aftonbladet in May 2023, to a target audience of several thousand young users (18-36).


Is "news as music" the future? We don't know. But we do know that people committed to traditional forms of journalistic content might not be the best judges of the desirability of the idea. Instead, we decided to let users into the conversation and build something tangible enough for them to be able to provide feedback.

The user response to our provocatype was overwhelmingly positive, with both the instrumental and rap version drawing users’ engagement. As phrased by one of our Changemakers:

"I like both modes, depending on what mood I'm in. The instrumental part felt good because it added a feeling to the news. I liked the rap a lot because it made the news experience fun!” (Jumane, 17).

TEAM Agnes Stenbom, Head of Lab, IN/LAB

Belenn Bekele, Community Researcher, IN/LAB

Anja Melander, Studio Lead SALLY, EY Doberman Klas Thorsén, Design Director EY Doberman Jonas Beck, Tech Lead, EY Doberman Maja Thunberg, Developer EY Doberman David Engzell, Visual Designer



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