HateLab is a global hub for data and insight into hate speech and crime. They use data science methods, including ethical forms of AI, to measure and counter the problem of hate both online and offline. The Online Hate Speech Dashboard has been developed by academics with policy partners to provide aggregate trends over time and space. The Dashboard was piloted within the National Online Hate Crime Hub, announced by the UK Home Secretary in 2017. Hate Lab is funded by grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the US Department of Justice.


Hate Lab studied the impact of hate speech and violence before and after Brexit, amidst concerns that the political environment would lead to a spike in violence against historically targeted groups.  There are over 900,000 Poles living in the UK, and Poles were a key focal group for this study. There were more than 94,000 hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in 2017-18 - up 17% on the previous year. 


Samurai was engaged to develop models and analyze speech on Twitter and YouTube to detect violent speech acts against Poles, and to publish a dashboard for measuring violence before and after Brexit alerting authorities to trends and immediate threats.  


Linguistically, the ambiguity in the words ¨poles¨ and ¨polish¨ presents a challenge for machines. The words can either refer to the national people, or to the common nouns that describe the ordinary objects. Samurai intelligence produced correct detection of violence towards Poles, enabling precise understanding of trends in online violence, and creating the opportunity to respond to threats of violence being carried out offline in real-time


Only Samurai's neuro-symbolic approach to AI could correctly distinguish violence against Poles from ordinary non-threatening speech acts.


Matthew Williams, Director, Hate Lab

"As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, using the most advanced methods of artificial intelligence is going to be vital in helping the authorities to quickly recognize warning signs and provide reassurance and security to the Polish community living here."