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Scientists Attempt to Fight Online Antisemitism with AI’s Help

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An international team of scientists said Monday it had joined forces to combat the spread of antisemitism online with the help of artificial intelligence.

The project ‘Decoding Antisemitism’ includes discourse analysts, computational linguists and historians who will develop a “highly complex, AI-driven approach to identifying online antisemitism,” the Alfred Landecker Foundation, which supports the project, said in a statement Monday.

“In order to prevent more and more users from becoming radicalized on the web, it is important to identify the real dimensions of antisemitism, also taking into account the implicit forms that might become more explicit over time,” said Matthias Becker, a linguist and project leader from the Technical University of Berlin.

The team also includes researchers from King’s College in London and other scientific institutions in Europe and Israel.

Computers will help run through vast amounts of data and images that humans wouldn’t be able to assess because of their sheer quantity, the foundation said.

“Studies have also shown that the majority of antisemitic defamation is expressed in implicit ways – for example through the use of codes (“juice” instead of “Jews”) and allusions to certain conspiracy narratives or the reproduction of stereotypes, especially through images,” the statement said.

As implicit antisSemitism is harder to detect, the combination of qualitative and AI-driven approaches will allow for a more comprehensive search, the scientists think.

“For the next three years, partnering with the “Center for Research on Antisemitism” at the Technical University of Berlin, King’s College London and other renowned scientific institutions in Europe and Israel, we aim to use artificial intelligence to combat the spread of antisemitism and hatred online,” the foundation said.

“Together, we aim to Stop Hate Online, by developing a highly complex, AI-driven online tool which will filter hateful messages.”

The problem of antisemitism online has increased, as seen by the rise in conspiracy myths accusing Jews of creating and spreading COVID-19, groups tracking anti-Semitism on the internet have found.

The focus of the current project is initially on Germany, France and the U.K., but will later be expanded to cover other countries and languages.