How do digitally disadvantaged languages thrive?

For languages written in unique scripts, being added to the Unicode standard is only the beginning. SILICON* aims to accelerate the next steps: font and keyboard design, OCR algorithms, AI development.

* Stanford Initiative on Language Inclusion and Conservation in Old and New Media

SILICON is hiring!

Our Initiatives

Keyboard Layout

How do writers actually create text in a comfortable, fluid way using their language? Keyboard layout is essential to make this happen.

Font Design

Unicode approval is just the beginning: skilled designers must create the fonts that allow writers to convey their thoughts in several different styles.

OCR & Corpora

We train algorithms to successfully recognize scanned printed sources, as a step towards building corpora for these languages that can be incorporated into AI development.

AI Development

We work towards developing workable LLMs for underresourced languages whose scripts have recently been approved by Unicode.

Connecting languages and tech

SILICON research assistants have the opportunity to work across several areas of the project, developing a portfolio that can lead to grad school, into tech, into design, or elsewhere. We are looking for current Stanford students with a passion for languages beyond English and a curiosity about technology. No prior technical experience is required for many project roles! Application coming soon!

Peer Outreach

SILICON RAs serve as liaisons to tech and humanities classes, raising awareness about the crucial role of Unicode in communicating digitally.

Design & Tech

Collaborating with experts, SILICON RAs will work on font and keyboard development, OCR algorithms, corpus-building and AI.

Training & Docs

SILICON RAs will get to attend project workshops, and will have the opportunity to train and mentor the next cohort.


SILICON is developing partnerships with tech companies to place SILICON RAs into summer internships where they can support digitally-disadvantaged language work.

Our Team

Thomas Mullaney
PI, History
Kathryn Starkey
Elaine Treharne
PI, English
Quinn Dombrowski
Staff, DLCL/Library
Anne Ladyem McDivitt
Staff, History/Library


SILICON will be offering summer internships for students interested in working at the intersection of tech, design, and languages.

Poster with the text 'Interested in bridging the digital divide in language representation? Work at the intersection of technology, cultura, and social impact where you can contribute to the advancement and preservation of global linguistic heritage. Apply by February 21, 2024 11:59 PM. Base stipend of $6500 (supplemental funding and financial aid available to qualifying students), work with the Unicode Consortium and Stanford Initiative on Language Inclusion and Conservation in Old and New Media (SILICON), Fully virtual with the possibility to join in-person meeting in Seattle, Full-time 9-week summer internship. Questions? Contact Professor Tom Mullaney,

For internship announcements and other updates, please join our mailing list.

For other inquiries, contact the PIs at