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iko

Preserving uncommon languages via machine learning!

$9,365
pledged of$5,000 goal
54
0Days Left

Project Description

 

Iko is a crowdsourced platform preserving and teaching at risk-languages with the help of machine learning. We are building a path back to language, story, history, and heritage for those who find themselves isolated from their pasts while documenting and preserving said at-risk cultures for future generations.

 

 

While the online language learning market is booming, major players only address 0.5% of all spoken languages, focused predominantly on Western languages. Although there is large demand to learn uncommon languages, a lack of documentation in marginalized and indigenous languages makes it hard to start building. Furthermore, while existing language learning apps are convenient, they fail to adequately satisfy the cultural/ heritage-focused education  we know that 13% of language learners desire.

We are using the power of our community combined with machine learning to gather and develop resources in under-documented languages. We work hand in hand with members of marginalized communities to document their stories and languages via mobile devices. With the help of machine learning, we are building out translations and a database of stories which we enable the development of our learning problem, filled with lessons driven by cultural connection. Our novel machine learning approach enables us to do this at a lower cost than our competitors, and our cultural approach addresses a niche of language learners who crave more than a generic vocabulary-driven experience.

 

 

Our team is raising $5,000 to kick off a wave of initiatives that will  set the foundation for our work in language preservation. Your support helps us manage our costs associated with research and development, software engineering, design, and community building. We also have some really cool, fun rewards in store for supporters of our campaign!

Iko for iOS & Android

We will be launching the iko app early this year, which will be serving as the permanent home for our efforts. Through this first edition, users will be able to contribute and access stories and provide translations. Later versions of the application will include our learner experiences.

1-800-IKO-CHAT

The cornerstone of our experience lies in amplifying the voices of the communities whose languages we hope to preserve. However, to make this accessible, we must acknowledge the costs and challenges associated with accessing data and the internet. To make this hurdle more navigable for our community members, we will be launching a toll-free hotline which language speakers can call to share their stories. As little as $5 supports the recording of 30 stories!

Iko System

We are building online communities for each of the languages we support where learners can find conversational partners to practice with and participate in recurring community convos on hot-button topics like intersectionality, cultural identity, and more.

 

 

Our team structure is unique in that we have many layers, enabling us to move dexterously and include our community in making critical decisions. Iko consists of a core executive team, an ‘iko-crew’ of rotating volunteers, a top-notch assembly of mentors, and our broader ‘iko-system’.

Our executive team, consisting of three Stanford women of color, sits on the forefront of language death. Founder and CEO Aniea Essien is a recent graduate from the Stanford Design Program. Iko was born from her lifelong struggle to learn Ibibio so she could truly speak and connect with her Grandmother. She started this work as her university capstone project, and currently leads the team’s business, product design, and marketing strategy. Aniea has an extensive background in non-profit, tech, and business, including experiences from Bain & Co., Facebook, Portal, and the US Embassy in South Africa.  

Engineering lead, Abisola Olawale, is a Stanford undergrad and Coterm in CS concentrating in AI and NLP. Her interest in iko stems from her background as a Nigerian immigrant struggling to learn her native language. She has industry experience in NLP and software engineering from previous work at Microsoft and SAP, and is spearheading iko’s back-end efforts.

Front-end engineer and education Danielle Cruz, is a Stanford undergrad in Symbolic Systems (Learning track), pursuing a co-term in CS and a minor in Portuguese. She is the daughter of Filipino immigrants who did not pass on Tagalog. Danielle has a background in education equity and language learning, having spent time developing English curricula for low-income high school students in Brazil, and designing learning technologies for the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

 

With support from the Stanford Center for Human-Centered AI, the Stanford Program in Product Design, Google, Startup Legal Garage, and the SoGal Foundation, not to mention our team of superstar mentors consisting of Senior-level leaders from the Stanford d.school, StartX,  Microsoft, Stanford Engineering, and IDEO who provide the backbones to our strategic decisions, industry connection, and highly-effective pep talks. Our team has made incredible strides towards our vision.

Thank you for joining us in this journey towards language preservation and revitalization! Let’s do this!

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please reach out to aniea@iko.community with any questions.

 

 

Nelly Hejazi
02/20/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Femi Olaloku
02/12/2021
Founder's Circle 🤝
$500
Becca del Monte
02/08/2021
Monetary Contribution
$30
Greg Piamonte
02/08/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
02/08/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Geoffrey
02/08/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Geoffrey
02/08/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Darren Wilson
02/06/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Jessica S.
02/06/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Jonathan Johnson
02/06/2021
Iko Sweatshirt ✨
$50
Monetary Contribution

(Customizable donation amount) Give what you want! If you meet the minimum for existing tier and you want to receive the associated reward, then leave a message during checkout or  reach out to me at aniea@iko.community.

4 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
The Homie 🤜

Share what you can! For just the price of a coffee, you support us in gathering ~10 stories!

9 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
The Day One 😎

You're in it for the experience! Be amongst the first to try out iko! This tier provides one month of early access to the iko stories app (Early 2021), and one month of early access to the learners app (Mid 2021).

9 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD
Experience Iko Event 🥂

Join the iko team for an evening of good food + culture + convo! Our founder team will *virtually* lead the group through creating a Nigerian dessert , followed by cocktails and an AMA session with the crew!

28 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
The Benefactor 🎩

Live forever in iko history as an early supporter! We'll create a personalized picture of you in our unique illustration style to keep + feature your name on our website. Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners.
16 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Founder's Circle 🤝

You will be invited to participate in our exclusive quarterly panel updates where you'll get the inside scoop on all things iko! Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners
  • An exclusive Founder's Circle Experience Iko event
  • Name on website
2 Supporters
Select this reward
2,500.00 USD
iko Angels 👼

Thank you for supporting us so early in our mission! Our angels will receive a 1:on:1 session with the founders, which can either be an AMA session, or an exclusive experience iko event for your household! Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners
  • Name on website
2 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

(Customizable donation amount) Give what you want! If you meet the minimum for existing tier and you want to receive the associated reward, then leave a message during checkout or  reach out to me at aniea@iko.community.

4 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
The Homie 🤜

Share what you can! For just the price of a coffee, you support us in gathering ~10 stories!

9 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
The Day One 😎

You're in it for the experience! Be amongst the first to try out iko! This tier provides one month of early access to the iko stories app (Early 2021), and one month of early access to the learners app (Mid 2021).

9 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD
Experience Iko Event 🥂

Join the iko team for an evening of good food + culture + convo! Our founder team will *virtually* lead the group through creating a Nigerian dessert , followed by cocktails and an AMA session with the crew!

28 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
The Benefactor 🎩

Live forever in iko history as an early supporter! We'll create a personalized picture of you in our unique illustration style to keep + feature your name on our website. Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners.
16 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Founder's Circle 🤝

You will be invited to participate in our exclusive quarterly panel updates where you'll get the inside scoop on all things iko! Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners
  • An exclusive Founder's Circle Experience Iko event
  • Name on website
2 Supporters
Select this reward
2,500.00 USD
iko Angels 👼

Thank you for supporting us so early in our mission! Our angels will receive a 1:on:1 session with the founders, which can either be an AMA session, or an exclusive experience iko event for your household! Also includes

  • Sweatshirt
  • One month early access to iko for stories
  • One month early access to iko for learners
  • Name on website
2 Supporters
Select this reward