Violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Virginia may have shocked many but hate crime is actually rampant in the US, Google’s new website using artificial intelligence (AI) to track hate crime has revealed.
Google has launched “The Documenting Hate News Index” in partnership with its News Lab and the data visualisation studio Pitch Interactive, collecting news reports on hate incidents and makes them searchable by name, topic and date, Fortune reported.
According to the journalism non-profit ProPublica, incidents of hate are “actually all too common in the US”.
“More than just a list, the site allows hate-related stories to be browsed by date, and shows fluctuations in overall reports of hate crimes over time,” the report noted.
While violence in Charlottesville captured headlines, media turned a blind eye to the crimes that included two fatalities in an anti-Muslim attack in Portland in May.
The incident of a teacher ripping off a young student’s hijab or the killing of a young black Army Lieutenant by a white supremacist also missed media attention.
The AI-based Google website uses machine learning to understand both the content of news reports about hate crimes and subtler things like intent and sentiment.
“That means it can detect stories about events suggestive of hate crime, bias or abuse and track the frequency of particular names, places, and more general keywords like ‘businessman’ and ‘nationalists’,” the report added.
Interestingly, “Donald Trump” is the top keyword associated with incidents of hate.
According to ProPublica, there is no reliable national database of hate crimes available. This initiative by Google, thus, remains of significant importance.