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Asharq News Partners With Moments Lab to Utilize AI Archiving Technology

Moments Lab Content Team
July 26, 2021
Updated December 2022

The 24/7 Arabic news service has been recognized for its innovation in Arabic-language indexing and archiving, thanks to Moments Lab Multimodal AI.

White Arabic text on a red background with English text in white underneath that says Asharq News.


Asharq News is a 24/7, multiplatform Arabic news service reaching across the Arab world and beyond with a unique approach: news and in-depth analysis reported through the prism of the economy to empower people in their everyday lives.

The Asharq News experience is delivered through a dedicated television channel, as well as multiple digital platforms, offering continuous insights into the people, events, organizations and ideas that impact the MENA region and international markets. “Asharq Business with Bloomberg” draws on Bloomberg News’s comprehensive coverage from more than 2,700 journalists and analysts globally.

Challenge & Context

A fresh, dynamic news service with a digital and social media-first approach, Asharq News found itself struggling with manual tagging and the overall management of its large volume of media assets in both Arabic and English. 

Initially on the hunt for a video indexing tool that would integrate with its existing media asset management solution, Asharq News quickly saw that Moments Lab (ex Newsbridge) Media Hub capabilities would provide its users with faster and easier access to all the audiovisual content it worked with on a daily basis.

“A news production environment is incredibly fast-paced, and it’s becoming even more so as news technologies and means of communication emerge. This makes it even more important to find the shots you need quickly” explained Kathey Battrick, Senior Manager, Library & Media Management at Asharq News.

Asharq News decided to take advantage of all the features that Moments Lab’s Cloud Media Hub had to offer and in May 2021 it was deployed along with Multimodal AI Indexing, including:

  • OCR - optical character recognition
  • Speech-to-text and translation
  • Facial recognition
  • Key scene and object detection

Moments Lab Solution - How it Works

Thousands of hours of video files are uploaded each month to Asharq’s Moments Lab Cloud Media Hub, and automatically indexed with Multimodal AI. Timestamped metadata is applied, and media assets are sorted into dedicated Collections. These are smart folders that auto-update when new media matching predefined criteria is ingested.

Collections view of Asharq News's Cloud Media Hub, showing media categories such as clean feeds, rushes and social media.
Collections view of Asharq’s Moments Lab (ex Newsbridge) Media Hub.

Through OCR, named entities, people and brands are labeled and easily searchable by Asharq’s team of documentalists and journalists - in either Arabic or English - as they look for specific footage for news stories.

Thanks to Multimodal AI and Moments Lab’s semantic search engine, Asharq News is able to create custom tags - such as “Vox Pop” - that help the team find the archive footage they need in a flash.

Shots can be clipped in record time with Moments Lab’s advanced cloud video clipping tools and Speech-To-Cut™ functionality. Sequences can be sent to another video editing tool, or published directly.

Footage of Asharq News's virtual studio with auto-generated Arabic text and clipping tools displayed underneath.a
Moments Lab Speech-To-Cut shown in footage from Asharq News’s Virtual Studio.

Kathey Battrick said:

“Our partnership with Moments Lab provides us with a fast and efficient means of tagging our content and managing our thesaurus for labels (objects, actions, scenes) and people in both English and Arabic. The user interface is intuitive which enables us to easily train the AI to detect and recognize people without a large training overhead."
“The Multimodal AI-generated metadata enables us to produce more valuable and relevant metadata in a time-efficient manner. The timecode-accurate search results this delivers minimizes the time loss scrolling through hours of video to find that essential shot.”

Award-Winning Multilingual Data Models

Asharq News’s innovative approach to Arabic-language indexing and archiving with Moments Lab was recognized in 2022 at the FIAT/IFTA World Conference in Cape Town.

From left: Moments Lab CTO Frederic Petitpont, Kathey Battrick (Asharq News) and Moments Lab Sales Director Carole Pigeard.

Awarded for Excellence in Media Management for the project “AI Metadata for Arabic Archive,” the accolade reflects the time and dedication of the Asharq News team in training the AI, and building the first dataset capable of recognizing Arab politicians, business leaders and other public figures. Through a customized thesaurus, Asharq News can easily manage people's names, titles and aliases in both Arabic and English.

Kathey added:

“The Arabic transcription and English translation goes beyond modern standard Arabic, and has the ability to understand multiple dialects with a good degree of accuracy.” 

Moments Lab Co-founder and CEO, Philippe Petitpont, said:

“Asharq News’s track record as innovation leaders in the media sector makes our partnership all the more meaningful. By leveraging Moments Lab Multimodal Indexing AI technology, Asharq is setting a new standard to future-proof media asset management in the industry while also transforming end-user experience, offering next-gen search exploration and retrieval.”

Asharq News x Moments Lab by The Numbers

  • 1,600 hours of video processed with Multimodal AI each month.
  • Speech-to-text in 25 different languages.
  • 70 users from the Asharq News archive department, documentalists and news desk.
  • More than 32,000 hours of video - and counting - indexed in Moments Lab.
  • Close to 100,000 custom thesaurus entries created (labels and people) in both English and Arabic.

About Moments Lab

Moments Lab (ex Newsbridge) is a cloud media hub platform for live & archived content.

Powered by Multimodal Indexing AI and a data driven indexing approach, Moments Lab provides unprecedented access to content by automatically detecting faces, objects, logos, written texts, audio transcripts and semantic context.

Whether it be for managing and accessing live recordings, clipping highlights, future friendly archiving, content retrieval or content showcasing and monetization – the solution allows for smart & efficient media asset management.

Today our platform is used by worldwide TV Channels, Press Agencies, Major Sports Federations, Production Houses, Journalists, Editors and Documentalists to boost their production workflow and media ROI.