Belgian AI firm builds groundbreaking new AI tool that detects online hate speech in all European languages

textgain anti hate speech tool

A Belgian AI startup – a spin-off out of the University of Antwerp, has developed a “groundbreaking” new AI tool designed to detect online hate speech in all official European languages, which represents “another major step forward in the fight against hate speech and disinformation on the internet”, the company believes.

The AI spin-off called Textgain, won a prestigious competition for European AI developers in June, and will be building its AI tool, named CaLICO, over the next twelve months; it will be the world’s first advanced Large Language Model (LLM) that recognises and processes hate speech in all official EU languages. The company aims to become the market leader in multilingual AI-based hate speech detection over the long term.

Textgain CEO and Co-Founder, Guy De Pauw, (pictured right) commented: “Large language models, especially commercial ones, refuse to process toxic language. This makes it almost impossible to use them to process hate speech. We are now building a language model from scratch that can process this type of content — but without generating it. That’s what makes us different.”

Winner of European AI competition

Textgain recently received a strong boost as one of the four winners of the Large AI Grand Challenge, a prestigious competition for European AI developers in which 94 international companies participated. It won not only €250,000, but also two million hours of development time on a European supercomputer allowing for much faster new AI model training.

COO and Co-Founder Redouan el Hamouchi, (pictured below, left) said: “In our digitalised world, there is a growing need for advanced tools to moderate content. Multilingualism is essential in this respect. We are pleased that we can train our application faster, so that it can handle different languages and cultures within the European Union.”

International expansion

Textgain has great ambitions. The coming year will focus on the development of the AI ‘Hate Speech’ model, with a nominal value of several million euros, the company said in a press release. With a view towards international expansion, the company will then focus – from a vantage point as market leader – on the further development of SaaS applications.

“We have a unique position in the saturated market of AI providers,” says De Pauw: “Firstly, because we are developing our own language model, instead of building on existing AI models. This immediately positions us alongside major players such as OpenAI, Google, and Meta. We also distinguish ourselves through our academic approach. We work together with policymakers, security services, social organizations and scientists. Reliability and precision are important rather than generic solutions and unrealistic promises.”

Responsible and ethical

Textgain remains committed to mapping social problems using AI technology. “The European Union has set strict standards,” says De Pauw. “The technology must be transparent, explainable, and ethical. These values are also in our DNA. It’s the only way to give people confidence in new technology.”

el Hamouchi adds: “Our strong ambition also reminds us of our enormous responsibility. That is why we do everything we can to ensure that we meet the highest ethical standards. We are building and will maintain very strict processes to protect privacy.”

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