"Coaching robots"

Toril Ahlin Stenvik, AI trainer at Telia in Trondheim

Toril is an AI trainer and product owner for chatbots at Telia in Trondheim. Her job is to make sure that our AI-driven robots perform as good as possible. Her priority are the chatbots who are serving the mobile customers in Norway.

A true tech nerd

“I have been a techie since I was young, and it was natural for me to join Telia (NetCom at the time) as my first job. With my teacher’s degree, it was also natural that I got interested in coaching and training AI robots at Telia. The chatbots that I am working on, are here to take a work load off our customer support teams. With the right support from a smart chatbot, they can focus on deepening the relation with our customers with live interactions. And with the right robots, some customers can be served faster and more efficient without really sensing the difference from being served by a human.”

Chatbots are easier than sheep

“I grew up on a farm, so I am used to making cows, chickens and sheep do what I want. And training a chatbot is often a lot easier than herding a flock of sheep in a field. Still, it is important to train the chatbots and make sure that they are always up to date. Even though machine learning is developing fast right now, you still need to be very hands on when training a chatbot, since ours are not self-learning AI’s. This means that I spend a lot of time with the people in customer support to understand what type of tasks a chatbot could perform, and how to best interact with our customers. I also use a lot of data from our web-based customer interactions, to see which processes can be automated and performed by chatbots rather than our staff.”

Creating new opportunities

“Training chatbots and taking them to the next level, will always call for great human employees who know exactly what our customers need and what they want. Ultimately, this means that the chatbots can free up a lot of time for our customer support team to focus on what they do best and focus on the more complex services. So, by training our chatbots, I am part of creating new opportunities every day, which is valuable to both us and our customers.”

A great journey

“Since I joined the company as a part time customer service representative, I have had many opportunities to grow into a more confident employee and I have gained valuable skills along the way. Throughout my journey here, I have been very open about my ambitions and I have always made sure to voice my drive to make sure that my strengths are put into good use. This is probably why I was given the opportunity to work with the chatbot shortly after I got my full-time position at our customer service. After starting to work with the chatbots, I have been met with incredible support from my new teammates. I truly feel that they trust me, and they have all helped me to define and shape this new role.”

People make all the difference

“Every day at work, I learn something new from my inspiring colleagues. They all come from different backgrounds and the multitude of perspectives makes my job even more exciting. And I believe that our diverse experiences make our work with the chatbots better. Seeing that you have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally at the company has been a real eyeopener for me. I used to believe that you got yourself an education and then a suitable job. But at Telia I have learned that if you are open and keen enough, your professional path can take some really unexpected but inspiring turns along the way. This goes to show that if you work hard, pick up new skills along the way and make the best out of every possibility, you can create a whole new path for yourself.”

Three main reasons for using a chatbot

  1. Free up time for customer interaction
  2. Allow your customers to self-serve
  3. Enable customer service 24/7/365

With a smart chatbot, a lot of simple questions can be dealt with efficiently when cases are piling up in your customer support. With more time for personal interaction, customer support can focus on serving customers with complex queries. Today, we very quickly reach customers with the right information when there is a peak in incoming calls. And by using secure id solutions, we can identify the calling customer and personalize the way the chatbot communicates with each individual.

Sometimes customers prefer to find the answers to their questions themselves. With a good chatbot, you can allow your customers to serve themselves. And with a chatbot, you can offer a state-of-the-art customer service that is available around the clock, seven days a week every day of the year.

Advice I wish I got when I was at university

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
  2. Understand, don’t just memorize!
  3. Give your brain a rest – you’re not a robot!


First I studied graphic design for a year. Then I went on to get my bachelor’s degree, which made me a qualified history and religion teacher.

Life before Telia

When I was 19 years old, I got my first job at NetCom, which later became Telia. So, you could say that I have been with Telia for all of my professional life.

Life outside work

Pouring a nice glass of wine and putting a record on the turntable is my favorite way to relax. Still, exercising, reading books and playing video games does the trick as well!


I live with my husband and my robot vacuum cleaner, which is the closest thing to a pet that we have at this stage.

Something you didn’t know about me

I grew up on a farm, so most of my work experience before joining Telia was dealing with cows, sheep and chickens!