ISRAEL AT WARIron Lions: an AI21 Labs project collecting survivor testimony from October 7
ISRAEL AT WAR
Iron Lions: an AI21 Labs project collecting survivor testimony from October 7
The project has already collected over 100 survivor testimonies from the Nova music festival, survivors of the attacked Kibbutzim, and families of hostages.
Israeli AI company AI21 Labs has created an AI-based platform for consolidating testimony from survivors of Hamas’ massacre called “Iron Lions.” The website serves as a comprehensive platform for collecting, documenting, and sharing the testimonies of October 7 survivors.
Survivors can “add their stories of the atrocities they've seen and experienced and share their personal accounts of the war. It's meant to document acts committed by terrorist groups so that the world doesn't forget what happened to our community,” says AI21 Strategic Communications Manager Tehila Afota. “As an Israeli-established company, we feel it’s imperative to contribute our technology to encourage the world to take action so that these crimes against humanity cannot and will not go unrecognized.”
The testimonies are based on direct interviews with survivors, social media posts, and website submissions. Survivors are able to add their own testimonies on the website. Thus far, they have over a hundred survivor testimonies, ranging from “first-hand accounts of the Nova music festival massacre, to stories from people who have lost their loved ones in the attacks on the Gaza border communities, to siblings of hostages recounting their last contact with them.”
AI21 is an AI company that develops advanced language models. The technology behind AI21’s product, Wordtune, an AI-based writing and reading application that allows users to rewrite as well as produce texts, was used to power the platform. “All of us at AI21 are committed to doing our utmost to support Israel. In addition to the funds donated by the company and its employees, we offer Wordtune for advocacy purposes. Furthermore, we’re providing our LLMs and Task Specific APIs to aid in various war-related efforts,” says Afota.
Israel’s war against Hamas broke out on October 7 when thousands of Hamas terrorists broke through Israel’s border with Gaza, massacring scores of Israeli civilians inside Israeli territory. At least 1,400 Israelis were murdered, mainly civilians including children, women, and the elderly, with tactics reminiscent of ISIS. Thousands more were injured and over 200 people including women, children, babies, the elderly, and soldiers were abducted by Hamas into Gaza. In response, the IDF has been attacking Hamas infrastructure in Gaza for three weeks in an attempt to dismantle its rule.
More than twenty AI21 employees began Iron Lions two days after the October 7 attack. Afota says that it is constantly being updated and worked on by employees in addition to their regular work, with employees, “working on the project after working hours, many until 2-3 AM.” Since the publicly available repository went live, dozens of volunteers have reached out to AI21, to offer their help but also to seek assistance, Afota says. “Many organizations have already reached out, including lawyers, the National Library of Israel, and more.”
They have also been approached by lawyers for the families of those murdered or kidnapped by Hamas to support them in their lawsuit at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. With this in mind, Afota says that they are making efforts to ensure that the testimonies would be valid in a court of law. “We urge witnesses to continue sending us testimonies to increase awareness and help the families [of the kidnapped] to shine a light on evidence for future international war crimes investigations and lawsuits under judicial bodies like the International Court of Justice in the Hague.”