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  • SIL AI Team

SIL International Named Winner of 2022 Amazon Web Services IMAGINE Grant for Nonprofits

SIL will work with Amazon’s cloud computing arm to expand digital language support for local language users.


Dallas, Texas (November 29, 2022) — SIL International today announced it has been selected as a winner of the 2022 Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant, a public grant opportunity open to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations in the United States who are using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. The grant will support SIL’s efforts to leverage cloud technology as a tool to expand Artificial Intelligence (AI) possibilities for users of under-resourced languages worldwide.


Now in its fifth year, the AWS IMAGINE Grant program provides vital resources to nonprofit organizations looking to deploy cloud technology as a central tool to achieve mission goals. As part of the program, AWS seeks proposals for big ideas on how to leverage technology in new and innovative ways to accelerate impact in local and global communities.


According to SIL Data Scientist Daniel Whitenack, SIL’s AI team plans to further increase efforts to support more of the world’s 7,151 living languages in technologies that are increasingly driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. The goal of this increased support is to generate global transformation in terms of how local language communities are able to flourish in the digital sphere. SIL’s initial datasets and AI “foundation” models are on track to support 500+ languages in text, audio, and/or imagery/video over the next twelve months. The SIL AI team hopes to grow this number to 2000+ written, spoken, and signed languages over the next two years.


SIL was named a winner in the Go Further, Faster category which recognizes highly innovative projects using advanced cloud services. SIL will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funding, $10,000 in AWS Computing Credits, and engagement with AWS technical specialists. Proposals were judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the project, impact on mission-critical goals, and clearly defined outcomes and milestones.


Since the launch of the IMAGINE Grant program in 2018, AWS has awarded over $6M in unrestricted funds, AWS Promotional Credits, and AWS training support to 66 nonprofit organizations in support of their technology-driven goals. Previous winners are currently using AWS services to tackle critical challenges such as eliminating barriers to food security, improving maternal health outcomes, helping millions access clean and safe drinking water globally, tackling rare disease research, and more.


“At AWS, we are inspired and encouraged by the nonprofit sector’s commitment to address society’s biggest challenges. Each of our IMAGINE Grant winners are taking innovative approaches to scale their mission impact with technology,” said Allyson Fryhoff, managing director of nonprofit and nonprofit health at AWS. “We’re excited to dive deep with these organizations to help them leverage cloud technology to advance their transformative work that is benefiting communities worldwide.”


More than 85,000 nonprofit organizations worldwide use AWS to increase their impact and advance mission goals. Through multiple programs tailored specifically to the nonprofit community, AWS can enable nonprofits of all sizes to overcome barriers to technology adoption, while enhancing the scale, performance, and capabilities of mission operations.


For more information on the AWS IMAGINE Grant, visit aws.amazon.com/imagine-grant.

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